Stress Relaxation Techniques
The following exercises are great ways to achieve relaxation. Try a number of them to see which ones work best for you.
- Count your breaths. With eyes closed breathe normally, counting at each exhalation up to a specific number. Concentrate on the air moving in and out. Go back to “one” if you lose count.
- Listen to your heartbeat. Choose a word and repeat it to yourself with your eyes closed. Repeat the word for at least
- Muscle tightening/relaxing: Concentrate on a particular muscle group in your body. Tighten the muscle for a count of ten and then relax it slowly, noticing the contrast between the tightness and the relaxation. Repeat a number of times. Try the same procedure with other muscle groups.
- Mini-vacation: With eyes closed, visit a favorite peaceful spot in your imagination. Notice the enjoyable sights, sounds, and sensations.
- Feel yourself relax. Pay attention to the interesting details of this location.
- For going to sleep I – Try to keep your eyes open as you watch a clock for five minutes. If your eyes close, force yourself to open them.
- For going to sleep II – Close your eyes and think only about your breathing. Invariably, other thoughts will try to invade your mind, but push them aside and pay attention to your breathing.
- Pick an interesting sentence and write it out in longhand very slowly, making sure that every letter looks just the way you want it to look.
- Imagine yourself floating above the place you are in and pay attention to the way everything looks from up there.
- Rub your palms together vigorously and place them flat on a surface in front of you. Let them rise slowly, very slowly, up about six inches and then fall very slowly, as if they were pushing the air down, to touch the surface. Repeat.