How to Relax the MInd
I have introduced a simple Physical and Mental Exercise technique which you can try at the comfort of your own home. This exercise is highy recommended for those who are suffering from Anxiety and Panic Disorders and is advisable to try these steps 3/4 times a week. I suggest you listen to some classical music on your radio or laptop whilst performing these exercises which is beneficial.
To begin with, find a comfortable area in your house to sit down and relax for the next 15/20 minutes. Switch off any distractions such as mobile phones, tv etc. Tell the rest of the world to wait. This is your time to relax.
Mkae sure you are warm and have loosened any tight clothing. Your body temparature is likely to drop during this exercise, so make sure you are warm.
- Make sure that you feel completely comfortable. Find a point on the wall and focus your eyes on it, blink as little as possible, until they naturally want to close.
- Make sure your arms are unfolded rest them on the arms of the chair or in your lap with hands facing palms up. Uncross your legs and let both feet rest gently on the floor.
- Now concentrate on your breathing. Take a deep breath in through your nose and then let it go through your mouth. Take another two deep breaths through your nose and then let it go through your mouth.
- Wait for 15 seconds. With the next breath, breathe in through your nose and expand your lower chest and stomach, trying not to move your chest at all. Hold it for a count of 2 then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Try that once more.
- Wait 15 seconds. Now breathe in through your nose for a slow count of 4, hold it for 4, then breathe out to a slow count of 4. Your breathing is now in the right pattern for relaxation. Continue to do this for a while, focussing on your breath all the time. If your mind wanders somewhere else, just bring it back gently to concentrate on your breathing.
- This time wait 30 seconds with a blank mind. Be aware f your body now and where it feels tense - be aware of the position of your limbs and aslo where your body is touching the chair. I want you to remember that throughout this exercise, your body is totally supported by the chair and your muscles do not have to work hard to support it.
- Wait 10 seconds. Concentrate on your shoulders now. Be aware of the position that they are in and any tension you can feel in them. Now, pull your shoulders right down, away from your face - feel your neck getting longer, feel the tension building up as you pull down ever harder. Concentrate on that tension.
- Wait 5 seconds. Then just let go, allow your shoulders to fall back into position - feel the tension disappear as you let go further.
- Be aware of the feelings in your shoulders now, slightly lower than they were before, more relaxed and totally supported.
- Now become aware of your arms and where they feel tense - be aware of the position they are in.
- Straighten your arms out long ways, lifting them off the chair. Concentrate on keeping them as straight as you can. Feel the tension building up in your upper arms, elbows and lower arms and concentrate on the tension that you are producing.
- Then just let go and allow your arms to fall back onto the chair or on your lap. Be aware of the tension disappearing as you let go even more. Feel your arms relaxed and totally supported.
- Be aware of the new position of your arms now slightly bent and slightly apart from your sides and totally supported.
- Be aware of your hands now and the position that they are in. Now leaving your wrists on the chair or in your lap, gently lift up your hands and stretch out your fingers and thumbs, long and wide - feel the skin stretch across the palm of your hands and the tension across the back of your hands and your fingers. Concentrate on them as you stretch them even further.
- Then let go, feel the tension disappear and feel your hands totally supported once more.
- Be aware of the feeling in your hands now and the position that they are now in. Fingers slightly bent at the joint and slighty parted. Not all clenched like they are when you feel tense.
- Now take your attention to your hips and thighs and the position they are in and any tension you feel in them.
- Now tighten your buttocks. Feel the uncomfortable tension building up as you squeeze harder. Concentrate on that tension.
- Then just let it go - feel your hips and thighs sink back into position, feel the tension disappear. Feel your hips and thighs totally supported by the chair and the muscles feel easy and relaxed.
- Be aware of the new position you are in, just relaxed and supported by the chair.
- Be aware of your legs now and the position they are in and of any tension that you feel in them.
- Now tense your leg muscles as you straighten them out in front of you. Feel the tension building up in your thighs and calves. Concentrate on this tension.
- Now just let go. Feel the tension disappear as you let go more.Feel your legs more relaxed and totally supported by the floor and the muscles soft and relaxed.
- Be aware of the position your thighs and calves are now in, soft and relaxed and supported by the chair.
- Now concentrate on your head, neck and face and any tension that you feel in them. Be particularly aware of your forehead and the back of your neck.
- If you have any thoughts in your mind try and let them go and take them away gently. To help this i want you to concentrate on your lower jaw and the position it is in and any tension that is in it. Now open your mouth, pull down your lower jaw and try to make it touch your chest. Feel the tension build up and concentrate on that tension.
- Now let go and feel the tension disappear as you let your mouth fall into a relaxed position, with your lips and teeth slightly parted and your tongue touching your bottom teeth.
- If you have not already closed your eyes, close them now and to help you keep them closed concentrate on any colours you can see in your mind's eye. Be aware of your forehand and cheeks now and of any tension that you feel in them.
- Now i want you to pull your eyebrows into a frown. Feel the tension building up around your nose, cheeks and eyes. Frown even harder and feel the tension getting stronger.
- Now let go and let the tension disappear.
- Now pull your eyebrows up over your forehead, pull as hard as you can. Feel the tension building up and the skin stretching tight over your cheeks. Concentrate on these feelings.
- Then just let go and feel the tension disappear, breathing out as you do so. If you still have any tension left, i want you to gently lift up your arms and smooth your brow and temples with the tips of your fingers, or imagine someoner doing this for you. Feel your forehead smooth and relaxed now without a crease in it and all the tension released.
- Concentrate on the back of your head and neck now and be aware of any tension you feel in them. Now tilt your head back and point your chin towards the ceiling. Feel the tension building up and concentrate on it.
- Then just let go and feel your head almost spring back in place and feel the tension leaving your neck. Move your head from side to side and let it fall into a comfortable position.
- Be aware of your whole body now and of how it feels - totally supported and relaxed. To help you stay with this feeling for a while try not to let your mind wander. If it does gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
- Wait for 1 minute. With your eyes closed, rub your hands together until they feel really warm and then place them over your eyes and gradually take your hands away. Have a good stretch and look around you and the surroundings. You may continue listening to your classical music if you wish whilst sitting down.
If you prefer you can get someone else to read these steps for whilst you are performing the exercises. The other person may also try out these exercises whilst reading it and he/she may benefit from it also.