Deep relaxation relieves tension & fear, and strengthens the immune response to disease.
By relaxing your body, your mind becomes calm and clear while your brain wave activity is slowed to the alpha state (7 to 14 cycles per second).
You can create your own relaxation cassette tape or have someone read the following relaxation dialogue to you or you can mentally and progressively repeat the following points to yourself.
To begin, assume a comfortable, seated or reclined position.
Now close your eyes, and take several easy, deep, abdominal breaths.
When you inhale, say to yourself, "I am," and as you exhale, say to yourself, "relaxed.
" Now starting with your toes and feet, bring your conscious awareness to each foot, and flex and relax each one individually.
Say to yourself, "In every way I am feeling better and more relaxed.
" Now move up to each leg and flex and relax each leg.
Now be aware of your buttocks.
Flex and relax your buttocks.
Now bring your conscious awareness to your abdomen and stomach areas.
Feel those areas flexing and relaxing.
Now focus attention to your back area.
Flex and relax it.
Now flex and relax your chest area.
Now flex and relax each hand and arm.
Feel the sensation of your shoulders flexing and relaxing.
Feel your neck muscles relaxing and becoming soft and heavy.
Be aware of and feel the muscles in your mouth, nose and eyes relaxing.
Let your jaw become loose and let your tongue drop.
Now direct all the muscles of your head to relax.
Imagine a warm heaviness spreading throughout your body.
Now while continuing the easy abdominal breathing, scan the entire body for any tension and relax it.
Now say to yourself, "I am in complete control of all my faculties, and can achieve relaxation whenever I desire.
I am now fully relaxed.
" In this totally relaxed state, your blood vessels are dilated, and more oxygenated blood is flowing to your vital brain areas for better functioning.
Now begin imagining a specific color in your mind's eye.
With each abdominal breath, you are breathing in that color of relaxation.
Allow it to permeate and soothe all the cells of your body with each breath that you take.
The color you have chosen to connect with your state of relaxation will be the same color you can use in the future to help you relax.
Now create the number 3 on your mental blackboard in that same color, and touch the tip of your forefinger with your thumb as you breathe a sigh of complete relaxation.
Whenever you notice that you are tense or anxious in the future, you need only close your eyes for a few moments, breathe deeply, & imagine the color you chose flowing through your nostrils; or visualize the colored number 3 on your men- tal blackboard; or simply touch the tip of your forefinger with your thumb to achieve the state of total relaxation (review “Exercise -- Anchoring Positive States of Mind”).
To be aware of your tension throughout the day, and to be able to relax whenever and wherever you are is important.
Now that you know how to relax, frequent scanning of your body throughout your normal day can target areas needing relaxation.
You can also facilitate a quicker relief of anxiety in the future by remembering to breath deeply, center your posture and focus your attention on what is going on around you.
Most worrisome anxiety is simply an internal extension of yourself in the imagined future.
Becoming aware of the here and now (environmental sounds, colors, smells, etc.
) keeps your focus on the reality of the present.