I am always looking for ways to relax. From work to my family to tax season, I've been pretty tightly wound. I haven't had the time to go get a massage — my favorite stress reliever — so I have been looking for ways that I can relax on my own. I came across a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation where you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. The idea is that you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation, which allows you to become more aware of physical sensations. What's more? Concentrating on relaxing your muscles makes it harder to think about stressful problems and events.
Want to learn how to do it? Then
Here's how you do it: Sit in a chair with your back straight, head in line with your spine, both feet on the floor, and hands resting on your lap. Tighten each muscle group and keep it tightened for 15 to 20 seconds. Then relax slowly and notice the difference between tension and relaxation. It is best to start at the head and work down the body or start at the feet and work up. Try and do the technique twice a day — it should take you about 12-15 minutes to get through all your muscle groups.
I've been using the technique for a few days and I've got to say that it really is relaxing — though I can't say I've forgotten about Uncle Sam. Try it out and let me know what you think.