Ways to Relieve Stress and/or Anxiety - Progressive Muscle Relaxation


Progressive muscle relaxation
When you have anxiety or stress in your life, one of the ways your body responds is with muscle tension, this is a way to relieve that tension. By you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out, there is a certain order to it,  it will help if you use an audio recording to start of with than once you have learned it by heart you will not need the recording.  When you have learned how to relax each muscle group and you get a very tense muscle, you can practice tensing and relaxing that muscle area without going through the whole routine.

How to do a basic Muscle Relaxation:

  1. Choose a place where you won’t be interrupted and where you can lie down on your back and stretch out comfortably.
  2. Breathe in, and tense the first muscle group for 4 to 10 seconds. (Hard but not to the point of cramping)
  3. Breathe out, and suddenly and completely relax the muscle group. (Do not relax it gradually)
  4. Relax for 10 to 20 seconds before you work on the next muscle group.
  5. When you are finished with all of the muscle groups, count backwards from 5 to 1 to bring your focus back to the present


Muscle group

What to do


Clench them.

Wrists and forearms:

Extend them, and bend your hands back at the wrist.

Biceps and upper arms:

Clench your hands into fists, bend your arms at the elbows, and flex your biceps.


Shrug them toward your ears.


Wrinkle it into a deep frown.

Around the eyes and nose:

Close your eyes as tightly as you can.

Cheeks and jaws:

Smile as widely as you can.

Around the mouth:

Press your lips together tightly.

Back of the neck:

Press the back of your head against the floor.

Front of the neck:

Touch your chin to your chest.


Take a deep breath, and hold it for 4 to 10 seconds.


Arch your back up and away from the floor


Suck it into a tight knot.

Hips and buttocks:

Press your buttocks together tightly.


Clench them hard.

Lower legs:

Point your toes towards your face. Then point your toes away, and curl them downwards at the same time.