Progressive Relaxation


Progressive Relaxation


Many people are stressed out, and this causes them difficulties at work and at home. They may have trouble falling asleep, or getting a good night's rest even when they do sleep. This progressive relaxation technique is a proven way to chill out, release all the tension from your body, and get some sleep.



Tense a muscle group as hard as you can, then let it go. Repeat this for each muscle group in the body.

Long Version

  • Lie on your back, with your arms by your sides. Your knees can be raised if this releases the lower back.
  • It’s best to do this in a quiet, dark room where you will not be disturbed. Make sure all phones are turned off!
  • Start with the calf of one leg. Breathe in very deep and then let it all the way out. When the breath is out, tense the calf as tightly as is possible. Hold this tension for at least 10 seconds, giving it your all. Then let it go, relaxing it completely, and inhaling deeply again.
  • Next move on to another body part, for example, the other calf. Repeat the process, tensing this calf for 10 seconds or more, and then letting it relax.
  • Work with each muscle group in turn. The sequence may go something like this:
    1. Left calf and foot
    2. Right calf and foot
    3. Left thigh
    4. Right thigh
    5. Left buttock
    6. Right buttock
    7. Lower belly
    8. Stomach
    9. Back
    10. Shoulders
    11. Left bicep
    12. Right bicep
    13. Left forearm and hand
    14. Right forearm and hand
    15. Neck
    16. Face
  • Once you have covered the entire body, you can either repeat the process as many times as you wish, or consider yourself done for now.


This progressive relaxation has been taught for decades and works wonders!


This technique can make you very sleepy. It may be better not to operate machinery immediately after doing this meditation. Do not do it while driving.

See Also

(Other pages in this wiki that contain related material.)

External Links

Here is a version of this technique that takes the form of a Progressive Muscle Relaxation

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