22 Mar Soothe Stress 1: Relaxation method
Relaxation is an antidote (meaning remedy or treatment) to stress – it’s difficult to feel relaxed and stressed at the same time! Different people do different things to relax: watch T.V., journal, walk, or meditate. However, you can also use a more focused relaxation method. Here’s one you can record and play back to yourself when you are feeling stressed.
Find a comfortable position (sitting or lying down) close your eyes and listen to the recording:
To be recorded ahead of time. Using an app or your computer, read this out loud into a recording device and then play it back to yourself and follow what it says to do (or, if you feel funny about this, have a friend or parent record it, anyone who has a soothing voice to you):
Take a deep breath, feel your chest expand and your belly rise. In and out, deep long slow breaths… after your third breath turn your attention to your toes. Curl your toes as hard as you can… hold for a few seconds and then release… feel the tension release from your body as you do so… just let it go. Next flex your feet… really hold them flexed and then…. Relax them letting go of all the tension and feeling how comfortable and soft your feet now feel. Tighten you leg muscles. Squeeze them as hard as you can and hold for several seconds before you release them and allow your legs to sink into the floor, or your chair. Feel how totally relaxed your legs, feet and toes now feel. Next squeeze your buttocks muscles, hold for three seconds and… relax. Flex your stomach muscles, hold them tight… and then relax… feel the relaxation spread across your stomach, across your chest… Raise your shoulders up towards your ears and hold them there… hold… and then relax, let them sink down, releasing any tension you may have and feeling that calmness spread down into your arms… Next straighten and tighten your arms flexing your hands so that everything is tight…and… not relax your arms and hands… allow the tension to just go… feel it move away and out of your body as you begin to feel heavy and comfortable all over… just sinking into the feeling of being totally relaxed… ball up your hands into fists and squeeze them as tight as you can… let all the tension you have left in your body flow into your fist… feel it centered there… and then release your fist and release the tension allowing it to flow right out the tips of your fingers… your hands now can relax and just sink into a comfortable position… now squeeze all the muscles in your face, squeezing your eyes shut tight, your mouth puckers and then… release the muscles in your face and feel that relaxation spread across your face down through your body… with each breath that you take, feel that warm relaxation spreading down into every space of your body… breathe deeply and with each breath sink a little bit more into feeling totally and completely relaxed……
That’s the end of the recording. You can just allow your self to open your eyes when you feel like it or you may choose to time 30, 45, 60 seconds and then prompt yourself to open your eyes in the recording. Whatever seems to work best for you.
After doing the relaxation method above, describe the experience.