Fitness & Workouts
We live in a world that never sleeps. We lead our lives with little rest and little time for ourselves. Vacations and time off are the only times we get to breathe and relax.
Somedays, life feels like a battle that never ends. In between all these, we must give our body, mind, and soul proper rest. There are multiple methods and ways to relax.
Related to this, we are here to discuss all about progressive muscle relaxation, a technique that helps reduce your anxiety, stress, and also relaxes your body muscles.
As the name suggests, this method involves the tensing and relaxing of a particular muscle group, as you breathe in and out. You have to go through various steps of this technique in an orderly manner.
This unique relaxation technique was introduced in the 1930s by American Physician Edmund Jacobson. The best part about progressive muscle relaxation techniques is that pretty much anyone can learn and practice it for a healthier body and mind.
This one of a kind technique is most commonly used to lower stress and anxiety. It may sound a bit shocking to some, but many individuals suffer from cramps as well when they are stressed out. Now, in such cases, progressive muscle relaxation is known to relieve muscle tension due to stress.
This method offers a range of benefits for you, such as lowering the blood pressure, soothing effect, reducing fatigue, and serves as a remedy for sleep issues as well. So, it can be said that it helps both physiologically and psychologically.
Before you begin this technique, find a corner at your place free from all distractions, where you can practice this technique peacefully. To set the mood, you can also play soothing music. Wear comfortable and loose fit clothes for this. You can either lie down on your back or sit back on a comfortable chair, resting your hands on the arms of the chair.
There are also therapeutic audios available on the internet that will guide you throughout the technique. So, if not music you can play such audio for better results.
As you take a deep breath slowly, squeeze the muscle group of your choice as tightly as you can for five to ten seconds. As you squeeze your muscles, focus, and feel the tension in that area.
You may find difficulty practising the tensing of a particular muscle group initially. But, as you continue with the practice, you will be able to master this technique with great precision.
Right after tensing the muscle group, as you breathe out, release the built-up tension in that area. Concentrate on the transition from the state of tension to relaxation. You need not relax the muscles in focus too slowly.
Take a break of only 15 seconds, before you move on to try this progressive muscle relaxation technique on another set of a muscle group.
You can systematically practice this technique starting from your face and ending with your feet. Otherwise, you can practice on the group of muscles that needs your special attention.
Forehead – Raise your eyebrows, wrinkling your forehead for the designated duration, and relax.
Eyes– Shut your eyes as hard as you can and open.
Cheeks– Smile as hard as you can, stressing on the muscles on your cheeks and jaw and relax.
Lips– Pucker your lips and release.
Neck– Lift your shoulders only as high as you can and then relax.
Arms and hands– Make your hands into fists and curl your forearms towards your shoulder like the bodybuilders do to show their biceps. Then return to normal position.
Butt– Tighten the muscles of your butt and then relax.
Legs and feet– Squeeze your thigh muscles and your calf muscles, curling your toes at the same time.
So, you see, the progressive muscle relaxation technique focuses on all the main muscle groups from top to bottom. Keep breathing as you apply tension on your muscles and breathe out as you relax your muscles.
Since the entire progressive muscle relaxation technique takes about 15 minutes to 20 minutes, you can easily do this every day or at least twice a week.
The Progressive muscle relaxation technique or Jacobson’s relaxation technique is pretty much approved by researchers and doctors as it is indeed effective. It is also known to reduce symptoms of depression as well.
The world is moving at a very accelerated pace, and we have no other option but to run along with it. Anxiety issues and other health issues have become very common. There are several ways to keep ourselves sane and healthy such as yoga, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and the list goes on. If you want to try something new and simple, then you can definitely try progressive muscle relaxation and see the positive results yourself.