Don’t Wait Until You’re Dead To Relax

I was talking to a life coaching client this week about progressive relaxation.

This is a very basic relaxation and self-hypnosis technique (The Jacobson Technique)  that involves moving awareness either up or down the body and relaxing each muscle group in turn.

By focusing our attention on each set of muscles it is much simpler to spot whether they are tense or relaxed and thus we can send a signal to let them go limp and loose. There is an alternative that involves actually tensing each muscle group in turn and then letting go of the tension so that you can be sure that they are fully relaxed.

The fact is that there are over 600 muscles in the human body and although their natural state is to be at rest we are tense so much of the time that is actually becomes the opposite, we train our self for tension.

For a moment take the time to fully relax your face, make yourself look like a total simpleton. Oh go on there’s nobody looking and even if there were they’d be more likely to run away than poke fun at you looking like that.

Start with the top of your head and move down paying special attention to the muscles round the eyes, the mouth and in the jaw. Allow them to ease up one by one and feel how unusual your face now feels in a state of complete relaxation.

So what is the value of this?

Tension feels natural to most people because they have been practicing it for most of their lives. It is a little bit like sitting in a good posture; it feels weird if we normally slouch (and yes, I am guilty of that one) because we are asking our body to do something it isn’t used to doing.

Of course if we persevere it will start to feel natural and we will get the health benefits. It is exactly the same with relaxation and being relaxed will suddenly feel a lot better than tense all the time.

Relaxation helps maintain health, reduce stress and promote good sleep and if that isn’t enough, it can help you look younger too!

Have you ever heard anybody say that they have been to view the body of a friend or family member that has recently died and that they were amazed how much younger they looked?

That is largely because all the tension has drained from their body and all the muscles are completely relaxed. I don’t want you to wait until you are dead for people to be commenting on how well you look (should you even care about that), try it out now.

You don’t have to opt for the full on half-wit look, just allow some of that neck and jaw tension to dissolve by consciously sending the right signals and you will immediately feel the benefit.