relaxation exercises to cope with stress ©Adobe stick

Progressive muscle relaxation

The progressive muscle relaxation according to E. Jacobson is one of the most popular relaxation methods and is based on the psychological unity principle: When the body is relaxed, the psyche automatically follows - and vice versa.

Here you make sure that individual muscle groups are relaxed and loosened by tensing and releasing them. You learn to perceive your body better. In this way you are able to realize tensions very early and not only when the muscles start to hurt. You can thus become a prevent painful tension and you feel more relaxed overall.

In fact, the physical relaxation gained through this also leads to mental relaxation. Through the conscious "letting go" also inner Anxiety or fears reduced will be.

How does progressive muscle relaxation work?

For most people, progressive muscle relaxation leads to a positive feeling of relaxation. The exercises take about 30-40 minutes in total and should be performed preferably lying down at the beginning. Look for a tranquil spot lay down on a mat or blanket on the floor and close your eyes. At the beginning you can start with a CD, on which the Instructions can be very helpful. Later, when you have a routine, this relaxation method can also be easy to integrate into everyday life.

The exercises are structured in such a way that you specifically tense the individual muscle groups (e.g. fist and forearm, thighs, back, shoulders etc.), hold the tension for a short time and then consciously release it. By letting go, the tension is automatically released. Relaxation of the corresponding muscle group caused by the It is important that you only tense problem areas slightly.

For example, if you already have pain in your shoulder caused by severe tension, then you must not work into the pain here. This could lead to an undesired effect and tense the muscle even more.

The guide for the whole body

To achieve complete relaxation, it is important that you go through the entire process and gradually tense and relax all parts of your body, following Jacobsen's instructions. The following instructions for the shoulder should help you to understand the principle. It can then be applied to the whole body.

  • "Tighten your right shoulder by pulling the shoulder blades up and hold this tension for about 3-5 seconds. Concentrate on this tension consciously so that you can feel it well.
  • Now let the shoulder loose again. You will feel how your shoulder and upper arm relax completely by themselves again. You do not have to do anything for it.
  • Concentrate specifically on the spreading relaxation for about 10-20 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise again and pay close attention to how the muscles first tense and then relax.

You do this exercise with your whole body according to the following scheme:

  • Forearms (clench your hands to fists and tighten your forearms)
  • Upper arms (press forearms against upper arms by bending the elbows)
  • Shoulders (Pull your shoulder blades still up, front and back)
  • Forehead (raise your eyebrows first and then together)
  • Eyes (Pinch your eyes tightly together)
  • Nose (tighten your nostrils by wrinkling or curling your nose)
  • Cheeks (wide grin, pull the corner of your mouth upwards)
  • Jaws (press your cheek teeth slightly together)
  • Tongue (press your tongue against the palate)
  • Chest (breathe deeply and consciously into the chest and hold your breath briefly)
  • Back (straighten back, push stomach/pelvis forward)
  • Abdomen (first press your abdomen outwards, then pull it in)
  • Buttocks (squeeze buttocks)
  • Legs (Stretch out your leg and pull your toes towards your knees)

What does relaxation after Jacobsen bring you?

If you do these exercises regularly and include them in your daily schedule, you will notice how you quickly feel better in general. You will more balanced and calm, Insomnia are reduced and fears are dispelled.

Tension pains of shoulders, back and head become clear alleviated. However, if your symptoms persist, you should consult a doctor and have the causes clarified.