Stress and Relaxation


We store a lot of tension unknowingly in our muscles. This meditation technique not only teaches us to focus our attention on our bodies, learning to relax can be a way to release the natural healing powers of our bodies. Tightening, and then releasing, is a basic technique for releasing some of that stored tension. It is a technique taught by many health meditation experts.

Progressive relaxation can be as detailed or simple as you like. Think what makes the most sense for your situation. If you are just beginning, limit your meditation to perhaps just these eleven major areas of the body. Later you can extend your meditation sessions to go for longer, and to include more detailed parts of the body. You will also be able to release the muscles without needing to tighten them first.

1. Start with your feet. Tighten your foot muscles, and then let them go. You may repeat a few phrases as you do, such as ‘soft and loose’, ‘deeper, more completely’, ‘more and more’, or ‘calm and relaxed’ and ‘letting go’. Feel your muscles completely relaxed.

2. Continue for the calves, the thighs, the buttocks, the stomach, the chest, the arms, the shoulders, the jaw, the eyes, and the forehead. For each one tighten and let go, repeating your phrase, and feeling the feelings of profound relaxation with each one.

3. Let yourself be still, and either continue with another meditation, or slowly open the eyes.

This type of meditation can be done seated, it can also be a relaxing way to end your day as you lie in bed. You should find it leads to a stillness of mind, and profound inner stillness. Watch for better physical health results, too.