May 112010

Relaxation is an important aspect of everyone’s life where well-being is appreciated – you can’t expect to be efficient in your everyday activities and to think clearly on a regular basis unless you take some time to clear your mind properly at regular intervals. And the best way to clear the mind goes straight through the body – a strong, healthy body will guarantee you the equivalent state of well-being in the mind. But how do we achieve this?

Progressive muscle relaxation is the name of a specific system of techniques aimed at inducing a very deep and profound state of relaxation. The system was developed around the 1920s by Dr. Edmund Jacobson, who based it on his discovery that a muscle can be very easily relaxed if one is to first apply tension to it for several seconds, and afterwards release it. Doing this in a systematic pattern throughout the body will eventually put you in a state of deep relaxation, which is capable of assisting you in dealing with various health conditions and issues.

The original system encompassed around 200 unique muscle relaxation exercises, but it’s not required to practice all of them if you want to achieve good progress with the technique – in most cases, doing around twenty will do you just fine, and you should be able to experience the full benefits of the system. One of the best things about the progressive muscle relaxation technique is that, by eliminating muscle tension, you’ll feel much more free and unconstrained as a whole.

The technique isn’t difficult to perform, and won’t take up much of your time either – in most cases, doing it for around 20-30 minutes daily should be more than enough. Take note that proper relaxation is a sort of a skill in itself, so you’ll get better at it as time goes – you’ll find that in the beginning, most of your time is spent trying to actually induce the state of relaxation, while later on you’ll be able to enjoy its effects for longer, as it will take you much less time to produce the desired effect.

It’s important that you have a proper schedule for it and that you stick to it strictly – set apart a specific time of the day for performing the exercises, and try not to deviate from it even by minutes – this will attribute to your body getting used to the technique much quicker. It’s also crucial that you pick your environment appropriately – you don’t want to practice this in a place that gets you tense and nervous. Make sure you’re in a secluded place, preferably dark. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re far away from technology.

Your posture will determine the results of your exercises a lot, so practice until you get it perfect – if you know how to sit up straight and align your body properly, you’ll be able to get your entire body relaxed much quicker.

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