Relaxation Technique

Relaxation Technique to reduce anxiety

Most people experience tension; knowing how to relieve that tension can help prevent or reduce anxiety, headaches, back pain, high blood pressure, and a number of other stress related symptoms.

Listed below are some simple techniques for reducing anxiety that gets in the way of your happiness.

Position: Find a comfortable chair, preferably a reclliner or chair with an ottoman and a headrest where you will not be disturbed for at least 10 minutes. Loosen any tight clothing you may be wearing. Assume a comfortable position; let your hands rest comfortable at your sides. Open your mouth slightly, let your lower jaw hang loose, drop your shoulders, let your chest collapse and your stomach stick out. Breathe slowly and smoothly. Close your eyes; do not fall asleep; do not cross your arms or legs.

Breathing: Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Become aware of your breathing. Allow your exhale to be slow and easy. As you breathe out, say the word “ one” to yourself. Repeat this for several minutes, thinking “one” on each exhale. Imagine that each slow exhale the tension is leaving your body. When you finish, sit quietly for a few minutes at first with your eyes closed before you get up.

Imagery: When you close your eyes, clear your mind. Go off on a mental trip to a pleasant peaceful place where you feel relaxed, safe, and free of worries or concerns. Stay there several minutes and savor the experience. You can imagine this trip to you restful retreat whenever you feel tense or anxious. It is your private tranquilizer.

Here are some ways to install relaxation practice in your daily routine:

1) Make your daily relaxation practice a ritual; select two regular times each day for about ten minutes at a time and stick to your plan.
2) For instant relaxation remind yourself by sticking a colored dot on your watch so each time you see it you will be reminded to relax.

Note: Using any relaxation technique takes practice; the more you practice the better you will get at this natural form of tension reduction. It is a safe, effective, drugless way to relax. Try it!

For those in the metro Chicago area, I have offices in Millennium Park downtown and in Westchester.

James E. DelGenio MS,LCPC
Senior staff Therapist
The Family Institute at Northwestern University
847-733-4300 Ext 638

Disclaimer: This material is meant to be used in conjunction with psychiatric treatment and therapeutic support. Always share this material with your doctor and therapist. Common relationship issues with your doctor and therapist.

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