Active Relaxation

Sit or lie in a comfortable place with your spine straight.

You may start with either you right side or your left side (most people prefer to begin with their dominant side).

For each step, hold the position described for 5 seconds and concentrate on the sensation of muscle tension. Then release the position and concentrate on changes in the muscles, noticing the sensation of relaxation.

  1. Foot - point and curl toes, turning foot inward
  2. Calf - pull toes toward head, flexing foot
  3. Thigh - push thigh muscles down, tensing muscles
  4. Repeat for opposite foot, calf, and thigh
  5. Stomach - contract stomach, making it as small and tight as possible
  6. Chest, Shoulders, and Upper Back - pull shoulder blades back and together
  7. Upper Arms - push elbow down
  8. Hand and Forearm - make a tight fist
  9. Repeat for opposite upper arm and hand
  10. Neck and Throat - pull chin toward chest and keep it from touching chest
  11. Jaw - bite hard and pull back corners of mouth
  12. Cheeks and Nose - squint and wrinkle nose
  13. Forehead - lift eyebrows as high as possible