Anxiety Ache Relief from Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Anxiety makes me ache because it leads me to hold tension in my shoulder and neck area. My anxiety is a frequent occurrence in my life. This means these muscles are tense regularly and have an impact on my physical relaxation. I have used meditation and mindfulness for many years to provide relaxation for my mind. These techniques leave my mind relaxed but my body tense after moments of anxiety.
Recently, I stumbled upon another form of relaxation. This technique of tensing and relaxing your muscles is simple and useful in alleviating the tension many of us carry throughout our bodies due to anxiety or stress.
Anxiety Relief at Home and Work
My work as a crisis counselor includes utilizing many relaxation techniques when working with a client. I have practiced deep breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery on the helpline I work for to instill a calm and relaxed nature to my calls. These techniques are also coping strategies I use in my personal life when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
What I had not been able to find is a technique or skill that left my body feeling as relaxed as my mind. Anxiety can be curbed with coping skills, but my body holds physical remnants of feeling anxious.
My muscles continued to ache after the anxiety had passed. Exercise and meditation made me aware of my tension but never alleviated it. Then, a client introduced me to Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
What is Progressive Muscle Relaxation? How Does It Help to Relieve Anxiety Aches?
This technique consists of tensing your muscles, one muscle group at a time, for five to ten seconds. You then release this tension and relax this muscle group for ten to twenty seconds before moving to the next muscle group.
I release each muscle group with a large exhale to signal the pushing away of stress and pressure in my body. You can also think of an image to associate with the release of your tension.
PMR has helped me most when it comes to my sleeping habits. Muscle aches and pains can cause me to sleep poorly or not at all. If we are not well-rested, the possibility of becoming overwhelmed or anxious during the day goes up. PMR after nightly meditation can be the body relaxation you have been searching for.
I practice PMR whenever the week has proven to be exceptionally stressful. I practice when I meditate and can feel the tension in my body as I perform a body scan to relax. PMR helps my body release stress and tension so that they do not distract me from a good night’s sleep or a busy day at work.
What helps you relieve your anxiety aches and tension in your body?
Have you ever tried Progressive Muscle Relaxation?
Share your thoughts below and namaste to you all.