Progressive Muscle Relaxation

5 - 10 minutes; do exercise slowly for maximum benefits.


  1. Select a comfortable sitting or resting position.
  2. Loosen any tight clothing.
  3. Now, tense your toes an feet. Hold the tension, study the tension, then relax.
  4. Now, tense you lower legs, now, knees, and thighs. Hold the tension; study the tension, then relax.
  5. Now, tense your buttocks. Hold the tension, study the tension; then relax.
  6. Tense your fingers and hands. Hold and study the tension, then relax.
  7. Tense your lower arms, elbows, and upper arms. Hold the tension, study the tension and now, relax.
  8. Tense your abdomen, hold the tension, feel the tension and relax.
  9. Now, tense your chest. Hold and study the tension. Relax. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
  10. Tense the lower back. Hold and study the tension and relax.
  11. Tense the upper back. Hold the tension, feel the tension, then relax.
  12. Now, tense the neck, back and throat. Hold the tension, feel the tension; relax.
  13. Now, tense the shoulders; try to make them touch your ears! Hold the tension, feel the tension; now relax.
  14. Now tense your head. Make a grimace on your face, feel the tension in your face. Hold the tension, study the tension; now, relax.
  15. Now, try to tense every muscle in your body. Hold the tension, feel the tension and now... hold the tension longer. Relax and breathe deeply.
  16. Continue to sit or recline for a few minutes, feeling the relaxation flowing through your body. Know the difference between muscles that feel tense and muscles that feel relaxed.
  17. Now, stretch, feeling renewed and refreshed, continue with your day in a more relaxed manner.


Johnson, S. L., Therapist's Guide to Clinical Intervention (Academic Press: San Diego, CA., 1997), 157.