when they are relaxed. Enjoy the pleasure and relief that
comes with relaxation. Give yourself instructions to relax more
and more, to feel more and more comfortable all over. Relish
the peaceful, refreshing, rejuvenating calm for 20 to 30
seconds, then repeat the process with the same muscles or
with a new group. In this way you replace muscle tension with
soothing relaxation all over your body.
At first, this three-step procedure may need to be repeated
two or three times for each set of muscles. With practice,
however, you can relax in a few minutes. Use groups of
muscles something like the following (don't get overly precise
about this, any group of muscles will do fine):
Hands and forearms--"make a tight fist"
and bend it down towards the elbow. Start
with one arm, move to both arms.
Biceps--"make a muscle." Both arms.
Triceps--stretch the arm out straight,
tensing the muscle in the back of the arm.
Forehead--raise eyebrows and "wrinkle
Eyes--close eyes tightly (careful if wearing
Tongue--press against roof of mouth
Lips--press lips together
Neck--roll head right, back, left, down
(chin on chest)
Shoulders--shrug up, move forward and
Chest--inhale and hold it, relax as you
Stomach--"suck it in," push it out
Thighs--make legs stiff and bend toes and
feet up towards knees
Calves--make legs stiff and straight,
bending toes and feet down away from