Relaxation Techniques

The benefits of relaxation techniques are as varied as the techniques themselves. The adverse effects of stress on our health are well documented, and the alleviation of those adverse effects by routine implementation of relaxation techniques is also well documented. So what are you waiting for? Chances are you haven't tried any or if you have you haven't made them habitual. Remember what we said earlier, about habits? It takes 21 consecutive days to establish one. This is a test to see if you're paying attention. You may not have found a relaxation technique that works for you. Below are two examples. I encourage you to design your own, using imagery and vocabulary that is pleasant and comfortable for you. You can record them in your own voice, or have a friend record them. Use pleasant background music if you like. When you find a relaxation script that works you will know it. Your muscles will be loose and relaxed and your pulse will be slower, which results in a decrease in blood pressure. Below are some examples and a section to design your own.

The Mind/Body Wave

The following is a script designed to relax and release tension in your body and/ or in your mind. It's very good to use if you have problems drifting off to sleep. It is best done by recording it very slowly, in a quiet monotone voice. Choose to pause at times that seem natural for you. If you are having some one else record this for you, mark the pauses for them. If there is a word that is uncomfortable for you; change it. The image of jelly may not work for you, so you may, for example, want to substitute the words silky satin or soft cotton. If you have fears about waves and water, because you do not swim, then you may want to substitute the word breeze for wave, and the word air for water. If you have particularly tense shoulders or a stiff lower back, feel free to add extra lines to the script to help you relax more and longer in this portion of the exercise. Space is provided between each line for any rewrites you may wish to do. Just as designer clothes fit best; designer scripts relax the most. Guided visualization scripts do not work for everyone, as we all are not the same. What's comfortable for me, i.e. feathers, may be very uncomfortable for you.

Some lines in the script do not make sense, and are written that way with the purpose of giving your conscious mind a rest. When something doesn't make sense, your "train of thought" is interrupted; hence a brief pause in your thinking process, which rests the conscious part of your mind momentarily. Revise the following, so it is relaxing and comfortable for you, and then record it.

Spreading Waves

Begin by spending as much time as you need,
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finding a position that is comfortable for you,
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whatever that may be.

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You may want to close your eyes. or leave them open.
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You may wish to look around. or focus on something in the room.
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You may imagine seeing the soft yellow flame of a candle waving before you.
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Take as much time as you would like to do this..
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T h a t ' s r i g h t ..
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As you relax, in a way that is right for you,
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feel your body resting against the surface that supports you.
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Feel your weight fall, as you let go, and become light.
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feel your muscles blending with the surface that supports you.
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Notice, as you breathe in, the temperature of the air.
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feeling it warmer, as you breathe out.
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Notice how slow. and easy. and deep. you are able to breathe
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as the awareness of your breath becomes relief. and warmth. and coolness.
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As you are feeling the surface that supports you. and the air that you breathe.
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listen to any sounds that may or may not be present,
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hearing what you see over hear from there.
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seeing what you see. and hearing what you hear. and feeling what you feel.
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Slowly at a pace that is peaceful for you,
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begin now to feel a wave of comfort closely later,
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lapping at your toes and gradually moving up your foot.
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slowly toward your ankle.
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Let the wave move over and around and behind your foot,
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warming you to a temperature that is comfortable,
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as you inhale and exhale, allowing your breathing
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to become calmer and deeper in a way that is just right for you.
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T h a t ` s R i g h t ..
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Let the wave feel like warm jelly as it moves up your leg,
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over and around the calf, warming and relaxing..
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moving over the knee and up the leg.
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surrounding the muscles in a moving blanket of warmth and comfort.
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You can take as much time later from here as you now.
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and feel the wave moving over and around your toes and feet and legs..
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Feel the wave of comfort, breathing with it, slowly. deeply.. evenly.
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Allow it to be natural and fluid.
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Breathe in pulling the wave up your body as it surrounds your hips and your belly.
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Let it cover your seat and lower back and gently swirl around and up,
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moving toward and covering your chest and shoulder blades,
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relaxing each rib in the front and each vertebrae in the back,
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knowing where to go.. to quietly release the tension.
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Let it go under your arms, and feel your torso gently wrapped in waves of comfort.
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Take a much time as you need, to feel the effects of the warm wave.
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from where it's been.
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T h a t ` s R i g h t .
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Let the wave slide over your collar bone and shoulders, spreading down your arm.
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Feel it move over and around your muscles.
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swirling around your wrist, and over the palm of the hand. gently stroking.
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moving to every finger, swirling around, gently tugging each one separately.
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Feel the wave all over your arms.
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Let the wave gently move to your neck. spreading deep inside the muscles.
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Let it move gently over your throat and under your chin,
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spreading to and around your ears, covering the front of your face,
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relaxing all the facial muscles and your eyes. from the inside out.
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Let it swirl over and around the back of your head.
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T h a t ` s R i g h t .
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Continue with the wave, moving it from here to near, and over, later.
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Letting the wave go. wherever you would like, as you breath it in and out,
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moving it in gentle swirls where it will flow the easiest and relax the most.
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T h a t ` s R i g h t.
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