How to do Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation – CBT exercise to overcome anxiety

This exercise will have better results if you can lay down. Though it can be done seated or standing up if you find yourself in a stressful situation, but there will be limitations.

The idea behind this technique is to relax muscles in your body. It is also known as a body scan as you can start from the bottom of the body to the top, or vice versa. It is always better if you begin any exercise by using the breathing method to begin with.

Close your eyes if possible to shut out the visual noise that you can see. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds before exhaling through your mouth. Concentrate on your feet. Flex and wiggle them, tighten any muscles. Move the toes and turn the ankles. If you have the time, complete the breathing exercise before moving on to the next muscle group, though it isn’t necessary if you don’t. Next, think only about your lower legs and calves, tensing and then relaxing any muscles in that area. Use this method to work your way through your body until you arrive at your face. Tighten any muscles in the face area by screwing up your eyes and wiggling your nose. Open the jaws wide a few times and gently wiggle it from side to side. Feel your face muscles relaxing as you do so. Finish with a few deep breathing exercises before you open your eyes to the world around you. If you do this in public you may find yourself only focusing on a few muscle groups. At least you are shifting your thoughts from the anxiety and focusing on the inner self. That is the whole intention, to try and eliminate those negative thoughts by using a deep meditative means of relaxation. Such exercises will have a positive effect on your wellbeing.

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