Implementing The Plan To Relax More

Current state of Readiness: Action

Individuals have made intentional lifestyle modifications.

Our Goal: To keep you motivated and on track.

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Preventing Stress

  • Avoid controllable stressors.
  • Plan major life changes.
  • Place and enforce limitations.
  • Prioritize.
  • Increase communication with others which includes sharing your feelings.
  • Think positively.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat well.
  • Get a good night sleep.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Seek professional help if needed.

Stress Management Techniques

Progressive Relaxation
  • Progressive relaxation can be practiced while lying on your back or sitting in a chair (preferably with your head supported).
  • Each muscle or muscle group is tensed for five seconds and then relaxed for twenty seconds.
    • This procedure is repeated at least once.
    • Caution: Do not tense the neck, back, toes, and feet excessively tight. Tensing these may result in muscle cramping.
  • Sequence
    • Lie on your back with your eyes closed, feet slightly apart, arms slightly away from sides, and palms upward.
    • Allow your breath to slow down. Put your entire attention on the breath as it moves in and out. (Pause 20 counts.)
    • Tense the muscles of your feet. (Pause 5 counts and gently relax.  Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Tense the muscles of your calves. (Pause 5 counts. Relax. Let the tension go. Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Tense the muscles of your stomach. (Pause 5 counts. Relax. Let the tension go. Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Tense the muscles of your chest. (Pause 5 counts. Relax. Let the tension go. Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Clench your fists tightly. (Pause 5 counts. Relax. Let the tension go.  Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Tense your elbows and tense your biceps. Hold them tight. (Pause 5 counts. Relax and straighten arms. Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Tense the muscles of your neck. (Pause 5 counts. Relax. Let the tension go. Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
    • Tense the muscles of your head and face. (Pause 5 counts. Relax.  Let the tension go. Pause 20 counts. REPEAT.)
Two-minute relaxation

Switch your thoughts to yourself and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly. Mentally scan your body. Notice areas that feel tense or cramped. Quickly loosen up these areas. Let go of as much tension as you can. Rotate your head in a smooth, circular motion once or twice. (Stop any movements that cause pain.) Roll your shoulders forward and backward several times. Let all of your muscles completely relax. Recall a pleasant thought for a few seconds. Take another deep breath and exhale slowly.

Deep breathing relaxation

Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, and fill your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow breath out, you should feel more relaxed. Repeat as needed.

Mind relaxation

Close your eyes. Breathe normally through your nose. As you exhale, silently say to yourself the word “one,” a short word such as “peaceful,” or a short phrase such as “I feel quiet.” Continue for 10 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently remind yourself to think about your breathing and your chosen word or phrase. Let your breathing become slow and steady.

  • Take 3 deep breaths to help slow the body down.
  • Create images, use the words as bait but allow your subconscious to change the image if it wants.
  • Use as many senses as you can.
    • Use your seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching senses.
    • Using the senses allows the experience to be as “full” as possible.
  • Example
    • See a cloud drifting across the sky. Now it’s gone. See another and imagine that you are on it, drifting up over the city. As you drift and float, you come to a wooded area where you can hear birds chirping and see animals scurrying about. (Pause)
    • You see a stream of water nearby. As you near the water, you notice how gentle, yet consistent the movement of the water is. It is peaceful yet energetic. (Pause)
    • Now move away to a large meadow, and in the meadow you can see wildflowers. Look at the lovely colors. (Pause)
    • And now begin to drift away from this place, back to the room you are in. (Pause)
    • Take in a slow, deep breath, and let it go. (Repeat breathing 3 times.)
    • Open your eyes and stretch.

Keep Going – You Can Do It

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