The progressive muscle relaxation is another effective strategy for relieving stress and anxiety. It is a two-step process, which involves different muscle groups that are tensioned in the first stage and then subsequently relaxed.
This technique can also be combined with deep breathing or other breathing exercises for an additional level of relaxation; we will note that by relaxing the entire body automatically comes the mental calm.
Practiced regularly, the progressive muscle relaxation, makes us become aware of the difference between tense muscles and relaxed muscles, and this allows us to identify in advance the first signs of tension (and prevent it) when we are particularly stressed or anxious.
With a little commitment, we can achieve great results. In fact, thanks to this technique can handle anxiety (even the anticipatory), reduce panic attacks, improve concentration, control the mood and increase self-esteem.
Guidelines on progressive muscle relaxation
Before you begin you must choose a quiet place without background noise and distractions (such as mobile phones), wear loose clothing, take off your shoes and all accessories (jewelry, watches, glasses, etc.), and get comfortable (sitting or lying is important to take a comfortable position).
Start with a few minutes of slow breathing and deep. As you exhale, imagine that the tension throughout the body slowly begins to flow.
When you are relaxed and ready to start, shift the focus to the first muscle group.
Each muscle group should be stiffened for about 10 seconds and then relax. Pause for 15-20 seconds to tell the difference between muscle tension and the same muscle when it is completely relaxed. It is important to focus on the feeling you get when the muscle is stretched and, on the contrary, when it is relaxed. The muscles at the beginning may tremble slightly or you may experience some little pain if you have not been exercising, it is important not to exceed in the effort. In addition, you can consume phosphatidylserine, a supplement that will not only enhance your muscular stress but also will help you to relieve from mental stress.
When you are ready, go to the next muscle group.
During relaxation can be mentally repeating phrases like “I am relaxed” or “The tension is going away from my body” and imagine the flow of voltage that comes out of the muscle you are working as the water that flows from the tap.
Throughout the exercise, it is important to keep the focus on the muscles and not think about anything else.
Ideally, from the facial muscles to reach the muscles of the feet; although some follow the reverse process.
Progressive muscle relaxation exercises
These are the muscle groups and exercises to follow for a complete “seat” …
Face: Tense the muscles of the brow-raising his eyebrows as high as possible, then relax. Frown and straighten it. Squint. Tighten your lips. Tighten the jaws. Open the mouth wide.
Neck: Bring your head back as if to touch the back and then pull it out again. Shrug your shoulders upward as if to touch your ears and then slowly relax them.
Shoulders tighten the shoulder blades back and bring them back to normal position. Then push them forward. Release.
Chest: Tighten the muscles of your chest by taking a deep breath. Exhale.
Hands clench his fists. Releasing his grip slowly.
Arms clenched fists bend your arms until your pulse does not touch on the shoulder. Bring your arms at your sides.
Abdomen: Contracting the belly more inward possible. Relax him.
Buttocks tighten the buttocks as to reunite them, straighten them.
Back: Buckle up your lower back and then bring it to its normal position.
Legs: Tighten your leg muscles and hips to the knees; stretch your calf muscles by bending the foot toward you and then relax. Bring your feet toward the floor boast. Release.
Feet: Arching fingers forward, release them; bring them back, lay them.
At the end of a session, relaxing with eyes closed for several seconds, and then get up slowly.
This relaxation exercises a progressive muscle, are made at the beginning for about 30 minutes a day and every day. After a little practice, the time needed to relax all the muscle groups is significantly reduced.
The practice should be done on awakening or before meals; because it is important to have an empty stomach since the digestion process may disturb the relaxation. Do not smoke or drink stimulants (like coffee) before beginning.