7 Steps to Getting Started with PMR at Home
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, it’s time to give progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) a try. PMR is a powerful relaxation technique that can help you tackle stress and anxiety head-on. When you are wound up, this is a great way to wind down. When you come to us for hypnotherapy treatment, just ask specifically for PMR and we will be happy to accommodate you. Also, you may wish to try out Kevin’s Fast PMR Induction script. The best part of this deep relaxation method is you can easily practice it from the comfort of your own home. Call 07979-814-388 for your PMR session today!
Here are your 7 simple steps to get started with PMR at home:
- Make time for yourself: It may be good to inform others before you start that you do NOT want to be disturbed. Find a quiet and comfortable space to fully immerse yourself in the practice of PMR. It’s important to find a space where you can relax without any distractions. Choose a quiet place, in a quiet room or find a cozy spot where you can focus on yourself.
- Get into a comfortable position: Whether you prefer to sit or lie down, make sure you’re in a comfortable position that allows your body to fully relax. You can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground or lie down on a comfortable surface like a yoga mat or bed with your feet falling away from each other in a V shape. You may wish to cover yourself with a blanket to stay warm. You might like to move yourself around a bit until you are really, completely comfortable. Move a little this way with your shoulders and neck, perhaps a little that way with your legs and hips. Remember you may be here for some time (however long you allocate for the practice) especially if you fall asleep (a possible, natural reaction to PMR relaxation).
- Start with 3 deep breaths: Take a long slow deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly with air and feeling the breath come in, as best you can. Hold for a few seconds and then, as you exhale thorough your mouth, release any tension or stress from your body. You may wish to visualise this as a white healing light on the inbreath and whatever colour you see your tension is on the outbreath. For most people it is easier to say to yourself, “Relaxation in. Tension out.”. Repeat this a few times to help relax both your mind and body together.
- Now we want to focus on each muscle group in the body in turn: Begin by focusing on your feet. 3 long slow deep breaths. “Relaxation in. Tension out.”. Just imagine with each inbreath what it might feel like if your feet were totally relaxed. You may even wish to slowly tense the muscles in your feet, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Move up from your feet to your calves, thighs, buttock, small of your back, stomach, chest, up and down your spine, both shoulders, both arms and hands, shoulders and neck, over your scalp, across your face and then breathing through your entire body, all together as one. “Relaxation in. Tension out.” at each stage.
- Be mindful of the sensations: As you tense and release each muscle group, pay close attention to the sensations in your body. Notice the contrast between tension and relaxation. Allow yourself to fully experience the sensations of letting go, releasing all of your tension in each muscle group.
- Take your time: Remember, PMR is all about relaxation and taking care of yourself. Take your time with each muscle group, giving yourself permission to fully relax and let go. Don’t rush the process. The true benefits of PMR come from fully immersing yourself in the practice.
- Practice regularly: Like any new skill, PMR takes practice. That is why in mindfulness they call it mindfulness practice. Make it a habit to incorporate PMR into your daily routine as best you can. At a minimum you should try this once a week, perhaps at the start of your weekend when you have completed your work week. If you find yourself always short of time, like may busy people do in the modern world, you can even just set aside a few minutes each day to focus on yourself. Simply start this relaxation practice focusing on your breath. Feel it come into your chest and stomach and leave. “Relaxation in. Tension out.” The more you practice, the easier it will become to achieve a state of deep relaxation and reap the benefits of PMR.
Segal Z, Williams M, Teasdale J (2012) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition Guilford Publications. Kindle Edition.
Waller D et al Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training, module 1A&B, introduction to hypnosis
Williams, Prof. Mark. (2011) Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. Little, Brown Book Group. Kindle Edition.