Progressive Muscular Relaxation

Progressive Muscular Relaxation

These are certainly stressful times we’re going through.  It is understandable that you may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage and now, further lockdowns.


Are you noticing the stress starting to build up in your body? Shortness of breath, tension in the chest, clenching the jaw, neck stiffness?  Stressed muscles are tight, tense muscles. By learning to relax your muscles, you will be able to use your body to dissipate stress.


An excellent tool to alleviate this built up stress and tension in the body is a technique called progressive muscular relaxation.


The focus is on the major muscle groups sequentially, in which you tighten each muscle and maintain the contraction 20 seconds before slowly releasing it. As the muscle relaxes, you concentrate on the release of tension and the sensation of relaxation.  To begin, you start with your facial muscles, then work down the body.


It  is best performed in a quiet, secluded place. You should be comfortably seated or stretched out on a firm mattress or mat. You might find it helpful to pre-record the routine on your phone and play it back until you’re familiar with the technique.



Wrinkle your forehead and arch your eyebrows. Hold; then relax.


Close your eyes tightly. Hold; then relax.


Wrinkle your nose and flare your nostrils. Hold; then relax.


Push your tongue firmly against the roof of your mouth. Hold; then relax.


Grimace. Hold; then relax.


Clench your jaws tightly. Hold; then relax.


Tense your neck by pulling your chin down to your chest. Hold; then relax.


Arch your back. Hold; then relax.


Breathe in as deeply as you can. Hold; then relax.


Tense your stomach muscles. Hold; then relax.

 Buttocks and thighs

Tense your buttocks and thigh muscles. Hold; then relax.


Tense your biceps. Hold; then relax.

 Forearms and hands

Tense your arms and clench your fists. Hold; then relax.


Press your feet down. Hold; then relax.

 Ankles and feet

Pull your toes up. Hold; then relax.


The entire routine should take 12 to 15 minutes.  Why not try practicing this once a day, ideally working up to twice daily.


The more tools we have access to to manage stress and support our physical and mental health the better!  I hope  you find this helpful.  If you’re interested in further stress management support, why not book in for a complementary online NET (FAST) session?  I am offering this services for a limited time to be able to support you through these challenging times.



No Comments

Post A Comment