Muscular Relaxation Exercise

Allow yourself about 30 minutes.

A. Get yourself ready:
• Find a quiet room where you will not be interrupted and get comfortable
• Choose some music that really relaxes you. Slowly work through each muscle group, tensing and relaxing

B. Tense up
• Tense your muscles slightly – don’t strain them
• Hold it
• Feel the tension in your muscles
• Take note of where the tightness is
• Keep your muscles tense and focus on it

C. Relax:
• Feel the tension leave your muscles
• Feel them grow more and more relaxed
• Feel them become heavier
• Feel the warmth flow through them and the tension drain away
• Notice the difference between tension and relaxation
• Let all the tension go
• Say words like “calm” and “relax” silently to yourself
• Really let the feeling of being relaxed increase

D. Go through each muscle group in order:
• Curl your toes and press your feet down – and relax
• Tense your calf muscles – and relax
• Tense your thighs, straighten your knees and make your legs still – and relax
• Tense your buttocks – and relax
• Tense your stomach – and relax
• Clench your fists – and relax
• Bend your elbows and tense your arms – and relax
• Hunch your shoulders – and relax
• Press your head back into a cushion to tense your neck – and relax
• Clench your jaws, frown and screw up your eyes – and relax

E. Shoulders:
• Tense your shoulders by shrugging them as high as they will go – and relax

F. Throat:
• Tense your throat by pressing your chin down on your upper chest – and relax

G. Head and Neck:
• Press your neck and head against the back of your shoulders – and relax

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