You will find hereafter 2 relaxation exercises: a short and easy exercise, and second one for a deeper relaxation.
The duration of both exercises is quite flexible and will depend on how long you can dedicate to it.
They are simple exercises that you can use:
– as a daily relaxation routine: at home, at night before going to bed or in the morning before starting your day, lying on your bed or sitting on a sofa or a chair,
– before an important moment or event that makes you nervous, and for which you want to prepare yourself,
– in case of panic or anxiety attack: in this case, if you’re not at home, go to the bathroom or to an isolated and quiet room. Do the first exercise: in a few minutes you will feel much more relax.
1- Relaxation through breathing: 2-3 minutes
Sit down comfortably. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, inhaling through your nose (you can exhale either through your nose or mouth, whatever is more comfortable for you). During approximately one minute, don’t try to force your respiration: listen to it and observe it. Breathe naturally 4 or 5 times, without trying to change the rhythm nor the intensity of your respiration.
Then slowly take control of your breathing, making it slower and deeper. Try to make each inhalation and exhalation last the same, approximately 4 to 5 seconds. Keep breathing like this 5 times, or during one minute.
Little by little, you can feel your mind and body calm down.
Take your time before coming back to reality and to a normal breathing.
2- Deep relaxation exercise: from 5 to 10 minutes
Lie down on a bed or a sofa, and close your eyes. Start by calming down your respiration during a few seconds.
The exercise consists in relaxing your body little by little, part by part, starting with the head and going down your body, with a slow, deep and calm respiration.
First, focus on your head. Take a deep breath in and with each breath out, relax one by one all the muscles of your head: the muscles of your forehead, of your eyes, of your cheeks, of your mouth, of your jaw, etc.
Imagine that with every breath out, a pleasant weight invades all the parts of your head, one after the other. Then picture the whole head taken over by a pleasant weight: let your head go, don’t try to resist and let it fall deeply in the mattress.
Then, repeat the same thing with the rest of your body, member after member, from top to bottom. Slowly and softly, with each exhalation, you will relax another part of your body: your neck, your shoulders, your arms, your elbows, your hands, your rib cage, your stomach, your bottom, your thighs, your knees, your calves, and finally your feet.
When it’s over, picture your whole body lying on the bed, relaxed, calm. You still have your eyes closed.
Take your time before coming back to reality: start moving slowly and smoothly, first the extremities and then the whole body. You can stretch out, as if coming back from a long and deep sleep. Open your eyes at the very last moment.