Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Anxiety Relief
Welcome to your Progressive Muscle Relaxation class for Anxiety Relief. So, I’ve been playing around with anxiety relief techniques for a couple of years now. I have to say, this technique is by far my favorite one to use.
First off, anxiety is a part of life. It is necessary. We need that fight or flight response to signal danger. Anxiety can become troublesome when it becomes chronic. Sometimes those “danger” signals fire off when you are perfectly safe. We can find ourselves in situations that cause anxiety, such as a work presentation in front of your colleagues and boss. After you’ve completed your presentation, the adrenaline starts to wear off and you may begin to feel tired. This is the parasympathetic response kicking in. Now, imagine that you finished that presentation and immediately started thinking about what you could have done differently. You start to fixate on how you said certain things. You worry about whether you got your point across. Perhaps you start to worry about what others think about you. “What if” statements may start to seep into your thoughts. I think you get the picture. This can create an anxious mind. This is when anxiety can become chronic. You may not know how to break that fight or flight cycle. Or you may not be aware that you are in it. And if this resonates with you, please know that you are not alone. There are strategies and tools out there that can help quiet the anxious mind so that way we can find some inner peace.
The progressive muscle relaxation technique involves creating tension in the physical body. We use our inhalations to hold onto the tension, and then we use our exhalations to relax the muscles that were in a state of tension. We pay attention to what it feels like to create tension in the body, and also what it feels like to soften each muscle group, one at a time.
You can do this technique whenever you feel it will best serve you. I personally like doing this just before bed. It can also be useful during panic attacks. This technique can help you stay grounded as you bring your attention to a physical action (muscular contraction and breathing). This can help quiet the mind.