Categories
Body icon
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View Topic
Life icon
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View Topic
Mind icon
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View Topic
Self Care icon
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View Topic
Soul icon
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View Topic
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View More
Categories
A life in motion is a life well lived. Move. Discover. Grow.
View Topic
True health lies in finding the perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit.
View Topic
Chronic pain can be debilitating. Regain control of your body and mind.
View Topic
Remedies sourced from nature help heal pains, both seen and unseen.
View Topic
Feed your body properly and you’ll nurture more than just the physical.
View Topic
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View More
Categories
Ease the way you move through life with simplicity and intelligence.
View Topic
Strengthening your relationships helps you celebrate who you’ve become.
View Topic
Raising children is the job of a lifetime. And you never get to retire.
View Topic
Our planet is a marvelous gift. Become the change the world needs by helping it heal.
View Topic
They’re an extended part of your family. Care for them the way they deserve.
View Topic
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View More
Categories
While you cannot escape the stresses of life, you can find shelter inside yourself.
View Topic
Calming anxiety, easing depression, and discovering peace of mind are within your grasp.
View Topic
Everyday tools, training, and techniques to convince your brain it can be so much more.
View Topic
From mantras for self-love to changing the way you look at wellness.
View Topic
category alt tag
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View More
Categories
The journey of self-discovery is never-ending. Embrace your journey.
View Topic
Feeling good about your outside impacts how you feel about your inside. Feel beautiful both ways.
View Topic
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View More
Categories
Dive into your practice and experience something new every day. Give your mind some space to grow.
View Topic
Feed your mind with powerful positive statements to help you believe in yourself.
View Topic
In a fast-paced world, sometimes the best thing you can do is to breathe.
View Topic
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by fizkes / Shutterstock
45 Views
4 Min Read Time
0 Shares

Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Anxiety [Video]

GR8NESS RATING
0
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS

In a stressful world, we all need tools to help us relax and reduce our anxiety. One of the best techniques for reducing anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). You know it’s good because it has relaxation in the name.

PMR is an easy, relaxation technique that anyone can use when they feel anxious, stressed out, or have trouble falling asleep, like breathing exercises to reduce stress, visualization, and yoga. It’s helpful during moments of nervousness or high stress. It can even help someone get through a panic attack or anxiety.

Watch the video below, then read on to learn more about PMR.

History of PMR

The technique was developed by Edmund Jacobson, an American physician, in the 1920s. Jacobson noticed that no matter what their illness, most of his patients had muscle pain and tension. When he tried to get them to relax, he saw that most people weren’t connected enough to their muscle tension to be able to release it.

This intrigued Jacobson, and he developed a sequence of steps his patients could use that involved tightening and relaxing the muscles. Using this method, his patients not only became more aware of their tension, they learned how to relax each muscle group, and recognize what a relaxed state felt like. The technique has been modified over time, but all current variations are based on Jacobson’s technique of systematically tensing and releasing specific muscle groups.

How Does PMR Work?

PMR is effective because it helps you overcome a normal reaction to stress and anxiety, known as the flight-or-fight response. This is a reaction that helped us survive threats, either by fleeing to safety or staying to fight. This response has become a reaction to feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear that are often out of proportion with reality.

When it’s not needed for survival, this response can cause symptoms such as sweating, shaking, accelerated heart rate, and shortness of breath caused by stress hormones released by your body. In addition, tension, stiffness, and muscle pain are often caused by stress and anxiety. PMR and other relaxation techniques have the opposite effect, they cause the body to relax. The heart rate is lowered, the mind is calmed, and tension in the body is reduced. PMR can also help you notice how physical stress can affect your mental state. And how by relaxing your body, you may be able to release feelings of anxiety and stress.

PMR Step-by-Step

To get a quick feel for how PMR works, make a fist with one of your hands and squeeze as tight as you can. Notice how your fingers and forearm feel tight and tense. Squeeze for a count of ten, and then release the tension. Notice how tight your forearm and fingers felt when they were clinched. Notice how relaxed they feel now.

Doing this in a methodical way, increasing and releasing tension in all the muscle groups in your body, is the foundation of the PMR system. By constricting and releasing various muscle groups throughout the body, it is possible to reduce physical stress and calm and quiet your mind.

Below is a version of PMR anyone can do. Give it a go the next time you’re feeling anxious, nervous, or find yourself unable to sleep.

Step 1: Get Comfortable

You don’t have to lie down, but you do need to be comfortable. You can be sitting up, sitting on the floor, or lying prone. Do find a time and place where you will be free from distractions. If you wish, you may close your eyes.

Step 2: Breathe

Bring your attention to your breath, inhaling deeply through the nose. Notice your abdomen rising as you breathe in. Slowly exhale through your mouth, pulling your navel into your spine. Repeat three to five times, until you are comfortable breathing in this manner.

Step 3: Begin with Your Feet

Beginning with your feet, tighten and release your muscles. Clench your toes while you press your heels into the ground. Squeeze for a few breaths and release. Now, flex and point your toes up towards your head. Hold for a few breaths and release.

Step 4: Work Your Way up Your Body

Continue tightening and releasing your muscles groups as you work your way up your body. The order should be legs, glutes, stomach, back, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and face. The goal is to tighten each muscle group for a few breaths and slowly release the tension. Linger on any areas that feel especially stiff.

Step 5: Close the Session

Close the session with a few more deep breaths. Notice how relaxed and calm you feel.

Relaxing isn’t always easy, and it can take time and effort to master. Practice the technique when you aren’t under pressure so that you can use it when you are in a stressful or anxiety-inducing situation. Practice several times a week until you are familiar with what it feels like to be relaxed. This can help you more easily let go of tension and manage stress when anxiety arises.

A Note from GR8NESS

Please note that information on our website is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical condition. If you suffer from severe anxiety and stress, please speak with a healthcare professional. If you are under a doctor’s care, please check with them before you add anything new to your routine.

GR8NESS RATING
0
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS
Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
Learn More
Related Articles
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
people protesting

9 Moments in History that Inspired Change

Why does social change happen when it does? Societies have a particular order, but at certain moments in time, this order becomes susceptible to change. Sometimes the moments are small, the catalyst a seemingly ordinary person. Other times they are big, led by a groundswell of momentum. Either way, certain...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Matheus Bertelli / Pexels

Becoming Consciously Aware of Things We Say That May Promote Racism

Overcoming unconscious bias and understanding how the things we say may unintentionally promote racism is a GR8 stride on the journey through the levels of self-development. Unfortunately, unconscious bias is something that everyone has, as much as we would like to believe that we don't. Our actions, thoughts, and words...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by William Iven / Unsplash

The Power of Social Media and Information

Whether you believe it's for better or worse, the power of social media is undeniable. Today, it's considered essential. It's difficult to find one person who is entirely offline. With so many social platforms comes the GR8 ability to access seemingly endless information–whether or not the information you get is...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Laurynas Mereckas / Unsplash

Are Brand-name Drugs Safer Than Generic Drugs? Get the Facts [Poll]

With the cost of pharmaceuticals skyrocketing, generic drugs are getting a lot of attention these days. Whether or not you have prescription drug coverage, generic drugs are often more than 85% less than their brand-name counterparts. If you are thinking about switching, or even if you have already switched to...
The URL has been copied