Relaxing for Energy
Everyone needs a little downtime in other words Rest & Relaxation (R&R), your body refuels when you relax. As you breathe deeply you take in more oxygen, your blood pressure lowers, your heart muscle relaxes and pumps more blood, and all tense muscles start to relax.
Used by itself or in combination with visualization, autogenic relaxation, a form of progressive muscle relaxation, is a useful and effective way to let go of tension. It relaxes you, body part by body part, inch by inch. Created more than 50 years ago by doctors Johannes H. Schultz and Woff gang Luthe in Germany, autogenic relaxation works by a process of mentally talking your body into a relaxed state. The word autogenic means "self-regulation" (without outside influence). According to the experts, the following is how to use autogenic relaxation to help banish the tension and stress that robs your energy.
- Be comfortable ~ wear loose clothing, lie down, unplug your phone, and find a quiet place
- Set the scene ~ to speak to yourself in a soft, slow modulated voice
- Find repose from head to toe ~ you accomplish this by imagining each body part feeling warm, heavy, and thoroughly relaxed.
- Finding Peace, Piece by Piece
- Face & head. Feel your facial and scalp muscles relax. Imagine that your face feels like a pool of calm water.
- Neck and shoulders. Take extra time to focus on these commonly tense spots until you can actually feel the muscle tension unwind.
- Arms. Work downward from your right shoulder to your right hand. Do the same on the other arm.
- Fingers. Slowly relax each finger on your right hand, one at a time, until you feel your entire hand go limp. then do the other hand.
- Chest. Relax your entire chest and upper torso.
- Abdomen. After relaxing your chest and arms, concentrate on your abdomen.
- Buttocks and back. Release the tension in these areas to finish relaxing your entire torso.
- Thighs, calves, and legs. Do one leg at a time, making sure they're both entirely relaxed.
- Toes. Relax the big toe on your right foot, then the other toes. Repeat with your other foot.