Relaxation has been described as ‘a state of consciousness characterised by feelings of peace and release from tension, anxiety and fear’. The term is usually taken to mean either lack of muscle tension or lack of inner ‘mental tension’.
It is now recognised that there is a myriad of techniques to suit different personality types and problems. Some people also encounter problems with ‘letting go’ and can become panicky when they try and relax. This needs to be discussed and a different type of relaxation technique considered.
Whole body tension
- Tense everything in your whole body, stay with that tension.
- Hold it as long as you can without feeling pain.
- Slowly release the tension and very gradually feel it leave your body.
- Repeat three times.
Imagine air as a cloud
- Open your imagination and focus on your breathing.
- As your breathing becomes calm and regular, imagine that the air comes to you as a cloud.
- It fills you and goes out.
- You may imagine the cloud to be a particular colour
Pick a spot
- With your head level and body relaxed, pick a spot to focus on (eyes open point).
- When ready, count five breaths backward. With each breath allow your eyes to close gradually.
- Concentrate on each breath
- When you get to one, your eyes will be closed. Focus on the feelings of relaxation.
Counting ten breaths back
- Allow yourself to feel passive and indifferent, counting each breath slowly from 10 to one.
- With each count, allow yourself to feel heavier and more relaxed.
- With each exhale, allow the tension to leave your body.