Posted on Feb 27th, 2006

The method for stress management which I am going to show you below is actually a combination of two methods; a regular deep breathing exercise and Jacobsen’s Progressive. Both are proven relaxation exercises and by combining them they function even better. These relaxation techniques can help you reduce tension in your muscles as well as manage the effects of the fight-or-flight response on your body - link when you feel you are about to get overwhelmed by panic. In a situation where you have to perform by thinking clearly under pressure, this relaxing exercise is really great. Here is what you do:

  1. Sit down comfortably in a way that enables you to relax.
  2. While you focus your body on relaxation take a series (10, 20 or even more) of deep breaths. For each breath you take, try to relax your body even more.
  3. Tense up the muscles of both your hands maximally, make a fist and hold this tension for five seconds.
  4. From the state of maximum tension, relax your hand’s muscles to the state they were in before you tensed them.
  5. Focus on your hand muscles and try to relax them even further so that you are as relaxed as possible.
  6. Repeat step 3 to 5 but instead of your hands muscles, now concentrate on the following parts of your body in sequenze: your feet, your legs and tighs, your arms, your breast and stomach, your back and finally your neck and head’s muscles.

The idea is that you’ll probably be able to relax your muscles more by tensing them first, than you would if you just relaxed your muscles directly. You can also repeat the deep breathing steps in between the tensing / relaxation of the muscles of your different body parts.

Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet publisher. He runs the website Terje is a Sociologist who enjoys contributing to the personal growth and happiness of others. He tries to accomplish this by writing about self improvement issues from his own experience and knowledge. For example, stress management by self esteem improvement and relaxation exercises to stop smoking

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