Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in coordination with deep breathing.  

 

How does it work?

  • First, you probably want to find a quiet secluded place to do this. 

  • Begin by slowing your breathing and deep breathing. 

  • Now tighten your fists.  Hold it as tight as you can for a few seconds and then let go. Notice the relaxed feeling you have as you release the tension in your fists.

  • Before continuing, take two long breaths. 

  • Now tighten your abdomen and hold it for up to five seconds and release.  The stomach muscles are a common place people hold a lot of tension. Again, when you release, notice the feeling of relief.

  • Follow with a long breath.

  • Continue with each set of muscle groups including your legs, chest, and even your face muscles.

 

Why does it work?

There are many reasons that PMR works when done correctly.  It helps to focus your mind away from negative thoughts.  PMR can also help to keep us more aware of tensions throughout the body. It also helps set a more controlled pace for the body- something that's crucial for proper relaxation.

 

There are plenty of books and MP3s that do a good job of describing and guiding us through PMR.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

PMR with ASMR

 

Guided Meditation and PMR

PMR for Anxiety

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