Top Tips for Rapid Relaxation
Do you remember when you were a kid? How dad used to come in from work, sit in front of the six o’clock news and then you all had tea together. Do you remember nights in front of the TV? Do you remember the days when people worked nine to five-thirty and saw evenings and weekends as time to relax.
Well for many of us, those days are deep in the depths of our memory – hazy recollections of a time when career was not a full-time life commitment; when phones were attached to walls; when mail came through a letter-box and TV stopped broadcasting at bedtime. Are we happier? Healthier? More productive? No!
Today we live in a state of continual pressure. Technology bombards us 24/7, we sleep less than we used to; we work well into the evening; we often work weekends; we try to juggle family, friends, career and much more; we beat ourselves up for not being a perfect size 12; we worry about what we are not achieving. Little wonder our bodies are a bundle of pent up tension.
Failure to relax brings a host of physical and emotional problems including:
- Muscle strain
- Aches, pains and soreness
- Inability to sleep
- And much more.
People often think that relaxing the body takes time. We hear people say ‘I don’t have time to lie down and meditate’, ‘I don’t have time to zone out for an hour’. Well if that is true, then learn rapid relaxation using the techniques of progressive tension reduction. In the Sassista office, we have worked this down to no more than five minutes – and anybody can find that, even sitting at their desk.
Follow this routine. The key to success is that at the ‘relax’ points you let go the tension quickly and immediately:
- Sit comfortably and kick off your shoes. Settle into the chair so that you feel fully supported and safe. Close your eyes.
- Focus on your feet. Scrunch up your toes into tight balls. Hold for five seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Point your toes to the ceiling creating tension in your feet. Hold for five seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Move up to your calves. Keeping your feet relaxed, put tension into your calf muscles making them as tight as you can. Hold for five seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Move to your thighs. Keeping your lower legs relaxed, tense up your thigh muscles to make them as hard as you can. Hold for ten seconds, Let go. Repeat.
- Now for your bottom. Tense it into a tight, tight ball, keeping legs relaxed. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Keeping lower body fully relaxed, focus on your stomach. Pull it in as if you are making your tummy button tough your spine. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Push your shoulders forwards and round so you create tension in your chest. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Crunch your hands into little balls. Hold for five seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Tense your whole arm, keeping hands relaxed. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Now focus on your back. First pull your shoulder blades together as tight as you can. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Pull your shoulders up to your ears. Feel the pull across your back. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Bend your head forward to the point you feel a pull down your neck. This should not hurt. If it hurts you are pushing too hard. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Push your head back to feel tension down your throat. Again not to the point of pain. Hold for ten seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Now scrunch your face hard. Hold for five seconds. Let go. Repeat.
- Now that you have relaxed your body it is time to breathe in calm. Focus on your breath and breathe in using your diaphragm so that you feel your stomach move. Count as you breathe in. Then breathe out slowly for double the count that you made to breathe in. Continue this for twenty breaths.
- Open your eyes.
- Shake out your hands and feet.
- Stand and stretch your arms above your head, feeling the stretch right down your body. This will give you energy.
- Smile. You relaxed in five minutes!