Try this Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) Exercize

22 November, 2011

progressive muscle relaxation

progressive muscle relaxation

Here is another great way to relax your mind.

Do this when you are already in bed.  The PMR exercise teaches you effective progressive muscle relaxation through a two-step process. First you deliberately tense certain muscle groups, and then you relax the muscles and turn your attention to noticing how the tension flows away.

Here is a step-by-step way to relax your muscles and your mind in preparation for sleep:

  1.  If you’re not already in bed, find a quiet place to perform the exercise.  It should be warm, free from distractions such as TV or music, and somewhere where you know you won’t be disturbed
  2.  Make yourself comfortable, loosening or removing your clothes
  3.  Plan on falling asleep before you finish the exercise – so don’t light candles but do be ready for bed
  4.  Close your eyes
  5.  Start to breathe slowly and deeply
  6.  Relax your jaw.  It will almost certainly be tense after the worries of the day
  7.  Relax all of your face.  Make sure that your mouth is slightly open and that all your face muscles are relaxed
  8.  Visualise all your troubles or disquieting thoughts just floating away.  Some people see them as balloons or clouds or bubbles, drifting off into a deep blue sky
  9.  Gently tense and relax each part of your body, starting with your toes and working upwards towards your face.  Tense the muscles by squeezing them as hard as you can for about 8 seconds then let go.  Try not to tense more than the muscle group on which you are focusing.  For instance, if you are tensing the foot, try not to let your stomach or jaw tense as well at the same time.
  10.  Imagine the tension flowing out of each muscle group as are releasing it
  11.  As you focus on each area, think of warmth, heaviness and relaxation
  12.  Check every now and then to make sure your face and jaw are completely relaxed
  13. The most often recommended sequence is
      • Right foot
      • Right lower leg and foot
      • Entire right leg
      • Left foot
      • Left lower leg and foot
      • Entire left leg
      • Right hand
      • Right forearm and hand
      • Entire right arm
      • Left hand
      • Left forearm and hand
      • Entire left arm
      • Abdomen
      • Chest
      • Neck and shoulders
      • Face

    Don’t try too hard.  Let your mind go empty.  Feel those thoughts drifting away.  Some people find it helpful to visualize a calm, beautiful place such as a garden or a mountain scene.

    If you get to the end of this exercize without drifting off, and you wish to get up, give your self a few seconds to breathe deeply, open your eyes and get up slowly.

    You may wish to try a relaxation audio programme, which will guide you through the process.  There is an excellent course available on mp3, CD or audio cassette by Dr. Robert Sharpe entitled “Relax and Enjoy It”, available from

    Comments are closed.

  • Recent Posts

    • Who Needs Sleep?

      17 January, 2014

      WHO NEEDS SLEEP? from IMAGO - CINEMATOGRAPHERS on Vimeo. Working in the film industry is often viewed as a glamorous way to make a living, and for some, it very well could be. However, for the below-the-line crew in the film industry, the never-ending trend of making films quicker and for less m...
    • Need More Sleep?

      9 January, 2013