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Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can be a useful way to help yourself feel better when you are depressed, stressed out, or angry. To try a relaxation technique on your own, simply follow one of these sets of directions.

Mental Imagery Relaxation

As you focus on your mental image more and more, you direct your attention away from anxiety provoking situations.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly.
  • Think of a place where you feel entirely safe and comfortable. Your place should be real, such as a childhood tree fort or a waterfall you once visited. It could be imagined, like a lush deserted island or in a castle high above the clouds.
  • What does that place look like? What sorts of things are in your special place?
  • What does that place sound like?
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Does your place have a particular smell? Imagine that smell.
  • What does your place feel like? What is the temperature? Is it sunny or dark? Humid or dry?
  • Your special place will always be somewhere you can go whenever you are scared or sad. You can also go there to simply relax.



Physical Relaxation

By learning to relax your body, you can concentrate on feeling good and deal with unpleasant emotions and experiences.

  • Sit or lay comfortably.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply
  • Concentrate on feeling the air move in and out of your body
  • Concentrate on your toes. Relax them. Feel all the tension leave your toes, one by one.
  • Feel yourself breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Relax your feet. Let all the tension in your feet disappear.
  • Now the tension in your calves disappear.
  • You are breathing deeply.
  • A soothing feeling rises through your legs, through your knees to your thighs.
  • You legs are completely relaxed and free of tension.
  • Breathe deeply. Feel the air glide through you.
  • Now your pelvis is relaxing. The muscles grow free of tension.
  • The soothing feeling moves through your buttocks. Feel your buttocks relax.
  • The muscles in your belly relax now.
  • Feel yourself breathing deeply as the tension in the lower half of your body disappears.
  • Now the tension in your back begins to disappear starting from the bottom and working upwards.
  • The soothing feeling wraps around your chest and neck and extends down your arms.
  • All tension leaves your arms and hands. You feel very relaxed now.
  • All the while you are breathing deeply.
  • All the muscles in your neck relax.
  • Then the soothing feeling moves through your face.
  • All of your facial muscles relax as you breathe deeply and feel the tension disappear from your body.
  • You are now completely relaxed. Your body and mind feel free and without tension. All of the bad feelings are gone.


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