Stress Relief Using Muscle Relaxation Boosts Mood

Tightening and relaxing muscle groups relieves significant stress

Stress Relief

Stress Relief by Progressive Muscle Relaxation Improves Mood

An Easy Mood Booster You Can Do At Work

Stress relief by progressive muscle relaxation is a full-body relaxation technique that uses voluntary tensing and relaxing of muscles to relieve stress and help clear the mind. The stress relief technique relieves anxiety, helps focus your thoughts, and connects physical relaxation with mental relaxation. Muscles are flexed and held in a tense position while counting to five with eyes closed, and then relaxed. The relaxation technique begins in the toes, progressing up through the major muscle groups of the body, and ends in the face.

  • Tense Muscles

    While inhaling slowly, flex symmetric muscle groups together and hold them in a tense state for fiver seconds. This is the first part of this stress relief technique.
  • Relax muscles

    After you count to five, relax your muscles and and exhale slowly, feeling the stress and anxiety flow out of your body.
  • Repeat

    Repeat Tensing and Relaxing for each muscle group starting from the feet and moving up the body to the face.

Stress Relief Steps of Progressive Muscle Relaxation

  • Step 1. Find a relaxed body position

    For stress relief, find a position that is relaxing and comfortable. If you are at home, sitting in a chair or lying down with legs slightly bent are common positions. For people at work, you can do this while seated at your desk.
  • Step 2. Close your eyes and calm your mind

    Close your eyes while you perform this relaxation technique. Making this a meditative experience is the goal. By closing your eyes and focusing on your body, your mind will change its mood as your progress through the muscle groups.
  • Step 3. Toes

    The first muscle group to flex and tense are your toes. Remove your shoes if possible, and curl your toes on both feet and hold them in a tense state for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 4. Feet

    Point both feet forward and hold in this position for five seconds, also known as foot extension. If you wish to flex your feet that works as well. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 5. Thighs

    Part 1: Push you knees together tightly and hold for five seconds. This tightens the inner thighs. Part 2: straighten your knees so that your quadriceps tighten and hold for five seconds. This tightens your front thighs. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 6. Buttocks

    Next, tighten the muscles in your buttocks and hold for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 7. Abdomen

    Tighten the muscles of your stomach. Be sure to not suck in your stomach as you do this and let your belly hang forward. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 8. Back

    Sit up straight and push your shoulders back slightly while tightening the muscles of your back for five seconds. If you are lying down, then arch your back off the floor and hold for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 9. Hands

    Part 1: Curl your fingers making fists tightly, and hold for five seconds. Part 2: expand your fingers to spread them apart and tense your hands for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 10. Arms

    Part 1: Bend your elbows and flex your biceps tightly for five seconds, then relax and exhale. Part 2: straighten your elbows and tighten your triceps for five seconds, then relax and exhale.
  • Step 11. Neck

    Push your shoulders up to your ears to engage the muscles of the posterior neck for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 12. Mouth and Face

    Make a big smile while tensing your lips, cheeks, and neck. Hold for five seconds then relax and exhale.
  • Step 13. Eyes

    Close your eyes and shut them tight for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.
  • Step 14. Forehead

    Raise your eyebrows and wrinkle your forehead for five seconds. Then relax and exhale.

Congratulations! You have successfully completed full mind and body stress relief.

As you finish, you should feel transformed, relaxed, and focused. Do this once a day and you will notice less stress and more calm in your daily life.

Note: If you feel any muscles that are still tense, then tighten and relax that specific muscle group to achieve full-body relaxation. Take your time and do not rush. Also know that people respond differently to Progressive Muscle Relaxation, feeling calm and relaxed after one or two sessions while others require a few sessions to feel the effects. Whichever group you belong to, be sure to use this technique on a regular basis.