Here’s a sample relaxation program recommended by “UF Center for Musculoskeletal Pain Research” that combines Breathing and Body Scan Meditation. This program will help decrease your anxiety, improve you sleep and lower your pain. You should start this program 1x/day for about 10 minutes. After a week, slowly increase it to 20 min/day. Relaxation exercises are more challenging than they seem, but will improve over time with practice. As you get more accustomed to a relaxation program, you can better tailor it to your life and schedule.
- Start off by controlling your environment. Make sure you are in a secure, quiet space free of as many outside distractions as possible.
- Sit down in a comfortable place, you can be in a chair or lie down, depending on what is most comfortable for you.
- Close your eyes and begin by bringing your attention into your body.
- Pay attention to your body wherever you are seated, feel the weight of your body on the chair or floor. Focus on how your body feels against all of the surfaces it is touching.
- Take a few slow, deep breaths.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, slowly taking in as much air as you comfortable can, and then slowly release the breath, focusing on emptying your lungs.
- Try to keep your mind on your breathing and in the present moment. Counting your breaths for pacing can sometimes help if you’re struggling with focusing on your breathing.
- As you breathe inwards, focus on drawing your breath deep down into your stomach and as you breathe outwards, try to relax your body and your shoulders.
- If you notice any discomfort, focus your attention to the area, breathe into them and try to visualize the tension leaving your body through your breath.
- Focus on your stomach, try to relax and let it soften if there is any tightness.
- Pay attention to your hands, try to relax and soften them.
- Soften your shoulders, then your neck and throat, your jaw and your facial muscles.
- Notice your whole body present and try to be aware of it as best as you can while you continue deep, slow breathing.
Leaves on a Stream
In the audio below, you will find an alternative guided relaxation technique that utilizes visualization. This relaxation technique will have you visualize a stream, where you are able to place your thoughts on leaves and watch them float past you.