Occasionally give self-instructions for the
muscles recently relaxed to continue
relaxing more and more. Check to see if
all are comfortable; if not, move them or
go through the tense-relax routine again.
Give general instructions to feel good and
warm and heavy, to smooth out the
muscles, to feel calm and rested, to enjoy
the relaxation, etc.
Imagine you are floating down a mountain
side on a soft cloud, enjoying the view
and counting down slowly from 10 (top) to
1 (bottom), and feeling more and more
deeply relaxed as you float to the bottom
of the mountain.
When you want to come out of the relaxed state, say to
yourself: "To wake up I'm going to count from 1 to 10. When I
reach 10 I will be awake and refreshed. 1...2...3...4...5...you're
half way there...6...7...8...begin to stretch...9...10, wide awake
and feeling good.
Recorded relaxation instructions should, of course, be done
in a soft, soothing voice, using a good recorder. Speak slowly
and draw out the words like a hypnotist: "de-e-e-eply relaxed."
The self-instructions suggested below are adapted from a script
by Dorothy Suskind (Cheek, 1976). Make whatever changes
you like, perhaps using some of the deep-muscle relaxation
"Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Listen carefully and try
to relax as fully as you can. Now, stretch your legs out as far as
they can go. Turn your toes under and tighten the muscles in
your feet very, very tight. Hold it. And now also tighten the
muscles in your calves and those in your thighs. Make your
entire leg--both of them--straight and tight as a drum, very
tense, and hold it, hold it (about 6 to 8 seconds). And now,
relax all the muscles in your toes, all the muscles in your
calves, all the muscles in your thighs. Notice the relaxation. Let
your legs go completely limp. And now, feel that wonderful
relaxation coming up from your toes, up your calves, up your
thighs. Feeling wonderfully relaxed, very comfortable, warm
and limp, very calm, very relaxed. Feeling beautiful, just
beautiful, wonderfully relaxed.
Now stretch out your arms. Make tight fists with your
hands. Feel the tightness, and now make it tighter, tighter,
tighter. Hold it. And now bend both fists down toward your
forearm, tense the muscles in your wrist, in your forearm, in
your upper arm. Tense it until it trembles. Hold it. Hold it. And
now, let go, just let go, and let that wonderful feeling of
relaxation flow right through your fingers, your hands, your