Have you tried progressive muscle relaxation to relieve stress?

Have you tried progressive muscle relaxation to relieve stress?

Muscle tension is commonly associated with stress, anxiety and fear as part of a process that helps our bodies prepare for potentially dangerous situations; the ‘fight or flight’ response. Ongoing stress leads to chronic tension, resulting in aches, pain and other symptoms like headache and a lack of focus.

Often, we don’t even notice the tensing of our muscles. For instance, many people unknowingly clench their teeth or bring their shoulders upwards or even frown constantly.

Research has shown that meditation and deep breathing can be helpful as it provides an opportunity for us to be conscious of the places in our body that we are holding tension.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a well-known effective strategy that helps people release tension in their body. Performing a progressive muscle relaxation exercise for 5 minutes as part of your pre-sleep routine can help you to fall asleep faster and deepen the quality of your sleep.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing the various parts of your body.

Working through each area of your body, tense for 3-5 seconds then release, taking 3-5 deep breaths and imagining the tension draining away.

Prepare – quieten your mind first by lying flat on your back, legs slightly apart, arms resting beside you. Dim the lights and remove sounds where possible.

Take 3-5 full breaths, focussing only on the air moving in and out of your lungs.

Find a quiet space, remove distractions, take off your shoes and relax

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