We are not saying ‘relax and it will happen’ but instead ‘practice relaxation and it will help you cope’.
If you practice feeling relaxed you can then recall this feeling in the midst of a stressful situation.
To progressively relax yourself, find a quiet corner of your home and lie on the floor. Beginning with your toes, tense and relax each muscle group in your body – from your toes to your head.
When you are completely relaxed, take a moment to notice how you feel. The more you practice this, the better you will be able to recall this feeling.
There are relaxation exercises you can practice discreetly too:
While seated, tense yourself all over, one part at a time.
Pull your toes up to tense some of your leg muscles, tense your thighs, your buttocks, take a deep breath and hold it, tense your arms and fists, your jaw, close your eyes tightly. Hold it for five seconds, then let go all at once, and feel the tension leave your system.
Close your eyes and draw your attention and concentration inward. Smile inwardly with your mouth and eyes.
Say to yourself “Alert mind, calm body.”
As you exhale, let your jaw, tongue, and shoulders go limp.
Feel a wave of warmth and heaviness sweep down to your toes. Enjoy the feeling of peace and relaxation that this brings.
Open your eyes and resume normal activities.
Try to raise your shoulders up to your eyes.
Hold for the count of four.
Now drop your shoulders back to a normal position. Repeat three times.
Rotate your shoulders back, down and around, first one way, then the other. Do one shoulder, then the other.
Now do both at the same time.
Find out more about the support and counselling offered by Bourn Hall here.