This exercise is great for reducing stress and Anxiety

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Deep Muscle Relaxation


This exercise is from my studies in Applied Sport Psychology. The original strategy for Deep muscle relaxation or progressive muscle relaxation as it is sometimes referred to, came from Edmond Jacobson, a Chicago doctor in 1938. The basic premise of this exercise is to bring to the personal awareness the differences between tense and relaxed muscles by alternatively tensing and relaxing the muscles. Through this one can become sensitive to the relaxed stat of ones own body and more easily be able to archive this state within themselves.


Deep Muscle Relaxation is a great strategy for doing this and reliving stress, after all stress cannot exist in a perfectly relaxed state... stress by its nature is tension.


Combining this exercise with deep centered breathing will give you optimal results.


I will provide a script for you to make your own MP3 for the Deep Muscle Relaxation exercise... or you can get a free MP3 of the exercise by signing up for our newsletter. You can do that right here:


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The "(P) symbol in the script represents a pause of 5 seconds.

Also any contact lenses should be removed prior to doing this as that will also prevent discomfort and help the relaxation.

The exercise is meant to be practiced sitting in a chair.

Remember this is for Deep muscle relaxation... so when the person relaxes they should let go completely... to be able to do this make sure they are sitting in a comfortable chair where they feel safe. If they are worried about falling out of the chair they will not be able to relax fully.

MP3 Script for Deep Muscle Relaxation:


MP3 Script:

1: Listen closely to these instructions. They will help you to increase your ability to relax. Each time I pause continue doing what you were doing before the pause. Now close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. (P)(P)

2: Make a tight fist with either hand. squeeze it tightly. Note how it feels. (P) Now Relax. (P)

3: Once again squeeze your hand tightly and study the tension you feel. (P) and once again just relax and think of the tension disappearing from your fingers. (P)(P)

4: Make a tight fist with your other hand. Squeeze it as tightly as you can and note the tension in your fingers and your hand, and your forearm. (P) Now relax (P)

5: Once again, Squeeze your fist tightly. (P) and again, Just relax. (P) (P)

6: Make a tight fist with one hand and bend your arm to make your biceps hard. Hold it tense. (P) Now relax totally. Feel the warmth escape down your biceps, through your forearm , and out of your fingers. (P) (P)

7:Now make a tight fist with your other hand and bend your arm and make your biceps hard. Hold it tightly, and feel the tension. (P) Now relax. concentrate on the feelings flowing through your arm. (P) (P)

8: Now squeeze both fists at once and bend both arms to make them totally tense throughout. Hold it, and think about the tension you feel. (P) Now relax totally, let it all go, and feel the total warms and relaxation flowing through your muscles. All the tension is flowing out of your fingertips. (P) (P)

9: Now wrinkle your forehead and press your eyes tightly shut. Squeeze them tightly tight and hard. Feel the tension across your forehead and through your eyes. Now Relax completely. Note the sensations running through your eyes. Just relax further. (P) (P)

10: Okay, Squeeze your jaws tight together and raise your chin to make your neck muscles hard. Hold it, bite down hard, tense your neck, and squeeze your lips really tight. (P) Now relax. (P)(P)

11: Now all together, wrinkle up your forehead, squeeze your eyes shut, tighten your jaws, raise your chin and tighten your neck, and make your lips tight. Hold them all and feel the tension throughout your forehead, eyes, jaw, lips and neck. Hold it, How relax and let it all go loose limp and relaxed. Relax totally and enjoy the warmth and tingling sensations from all those muscles and allow them to help you relax more. (P)(P)(P)

12: Now squeeze both shoulders forward as hard as you can until you feel the muscles across your back become hard and rigid, especially between your shoulder blades. Squeeze them, hold them tight... now relax (P)(P)

13: Now squeeze your shoulders again forward, and at the same time, such your stomach in as far as your can and tense your stomach muscles. Imagine a rope from your spine pulling your stomach back. Feel the tension throughout your stomach. Hold it. (P) Now relax (P) (P)

14: Once more, Squeeze your shoulders forward, suck in your stomach as far as you can, tense your stomach muscles, and feel the tension throughout your upper body. Now relax completely, all the muscles loose, limp and relaxed. (P)(P)

15: Now lets review all of the muscle groups that we have covered so far. First, take 3 deep breaths. (P)(P) Ready? Tighten up both fists and bend both arms tightening the biceps. Wrinkle the forehead and squeeze your eyes tightly shut. close your jaws tightly and press your lips together... raise your chin and hold your lips tight. Squeeze your shoulders forward and tighten the back and shoulders, pull your stomach in and flex them tight. HOLD THEM ALL. Feel the tremendous tension throughout your body. now relax totally, all your muscles loose lip and relaxed... as you breath out feel all your muscles double there relaxation. feel all the tension completely vanish from your head, your shoulders, your arms your back and your stomach. Just relax completely letting everything go.

16: Now lets go on to your legs. Bring your heels in tight towards your chair, push them down hard, and raise your toes so that the calves and your thighs are extremely tense. Squeeze your toes up and push your heel down hard. Now Relax (P) (P)

17: One more time, Bring your heels in tight towards your chair, push them down hard, and raise your toes so that the calves and your thighs are extremely tense. Squeeze your toes up and push your heel down hard. Now Relax (P) (P)

18: Now take three deep breaths, (P) Now, tense all the muscles as they are named, exactly as you have practiced: fists and biceps, forehead, eyes, jaw, neck, lips, shoulders, stomach, legs. Hold it all now. (P) Now Relax (P) (P) Breath in deeply three times. Notice how relaxed all of your muscles feel. Now one more time, tense everything! Hold it! (P) and relax, let all the tension disappear. Breath normally and enjoy the completely tension free state of your body and muscles. this is Deep muscle relaxation and it is a wonderful feeling and gift for your body. (P)(P)(P)(P) Now open your eyes and carry this relaxed feeling with you.


Deep Muscle Relaxation is a gift you should give to your body, and your body will think you for it by providing a strong platform to resist stress and giving you a higher standard of living within your own health.


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