Have you ever noticed how easy it is to become tense
during the course of your hectic and demanding lives? It could be that you
experience this as physical, mental or emotional tension. Regular, deliberate
relaxation, especially deep relaxation can help to prevent this. Exercises of
this type can also be used to reduce tension and to help us cope with everyday
There are many benefits of relaxation, such as :
Assists in pressure management
Alleviates muscular tension
Lowers blood pressure
Serves as a coping device or skill
Decreases or prevents physical and psychological effects of 'stress'
This document will help to guide you through some old tried and trusted
relaxation techniques so that you can experience the benefits of deep
relaxation and have several techniques at your disposal for whenever you need
We rarely give ourselves
(or each other) time to relax and calm down after a hard stressful day, yet it
is so easy to become stressed in today's lifestyles. The SPOT mediation
exercise is designed as a tool to help you to unwind a little and can be used
at any opportunistic moment in your day (whilst sitting at your desk,
perhaps before an important meeting, an examination or before giving a
Tell yourself to 'Freeze' - (i.e. stand or sit and remain very still)
Maintain your posture but do NOT hold your breath
Think about your body from head to toe, and identify in your mind where there
are areas of tension (tight grip, tight muscles, neck pain, etc)
Without doing anything else, think about how you are breathing (shallow
breaths, fast breaths, holding your breath etc).
When you are ready tell yourself to 'defrost' and allow all of your muscles to
relax and go 'floppy.'
Think in a relaxed positive way and make little adjustments to your posture to
enable you to relax your muscles (such as sit or stand straighter, loosen
shoulders, loosen your neck, close your eyes, let your abdominal muscles relax
and unclench your hands etc.)
Don't stop relaxing from head to toe, be systematic. When you identify a
technique for relaxing a part of your body then use this next time you try.
Take enjoyment from this spot meditation and fine tune your ability to relax
each part of your body, you will eventually be able to do it in minutes rather
Take a deep breath and sigh as you breath out, breath regular breaths, no
holding them or trying to force the breaths out quickly.
Feel yourself breathing. This will provide you with an awareness of stress
free breaths and make you more aware of your body and how it responds under
Try to give each breath more space and freedom.
Spare a thought for how the relaxation of your whole body from head to toe can
have a positive effect on your mood.
Resume your former activity when you are ready but maintain an awareness of
your body and its tensions.
This technique can be applied to a part of the body too. Just concentrate and
focus. For instance if your neck and shoulders feel tense, then concentrate on
This relaxation exercise can come in useful when you are late or in a hurry
but things just don't seem to be going right. For instance, when you are
rushing to work for an important meeting, but every set of traffic lights turn
red and slow you down even more (ever had that panicked, raging, stressed out
Imagine you are sitting in your car driving along and the lights have just
turned red as you approach them.
You try to smile even though you feel frustrated.
All you can do is to sit there and do nothing.
Let your mind and body relax and slow down.
Take deep breaths in and linger on letting the breath out again. This will
help to calm you.
Relax you abdominal muscles, consciously and also your facial muscles. This
will relive the tension.
Use the time that you are held up to breathe softly and slowly.
Be aware of your body and focus on the areas where you feel tense or the
muscles feel tighter than normal. Consciously focus on this excess tension and
on releasing it.
Move your body gently whilst sitting in your seat. Rotate or softly shake your
arms, wrists and hands; your legs, ankles and feet; and slowly lift your head
up, down, left and right to relax the tension in your neck.
Relax into your seat.
Look around you slowly.
Conclude the exercise when the lights turn green and feel relaxed enough to
handle anything life throws at you, confident, relaxed, refreshed, and
even.....look forward to the next red light!
Shoulder Exercises :
Did you know that stiff and aching shoulders and the upper back are one of the
most common manifestations of stress and pressure. When we feel tense we tend
to hold our shoulders stiffly, tightly or hunched over. We do this
subconsciously, without even realising it. Sometimes we maintain this
'abnormal' posture for long periods of time which results in muscular pain and
this, in turn can lead to painful joints.
This shoulder exercise will help ease the physical tension in the upper
body and, if done right will also help with general relaxation and 'letting
go' of stress. If you get the breathing right then you will definitely benefit
from this easy relaxation technique which can be done anywhere at practically
Sit with your back straight but not stiff.
Breath in deeply through your nose and, at the same time, push your shoulders
back and then lift them up towards your ears.
Hold this position and also your indrawn breath for a count of five.
Breath out slowly and slowly relax your shoulders, letting your shoulders fall
slowly downwards and let your head tilt forward (as though you are looking at
Slowly resume your normal posture.
Wait a few moments and then repeat the exercise again up to six times.
On the last time you do this exercise relax forwards for a minute or so, with
your head gently bowed forward and your hands folded in your lap.
Mel of Melswebs ©