Relax your muscles
When emotional or stress responses occur, your body’s muscles tense and tighten. You may literally feel “wound up.”
Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or PMR, can help you consciously release the tension in your body by tensing and then releasing particular muscle groups.
With a little practice, PMR can help you bust stress and anxiety very quickly.
There are several free guided PMR routines available online. MIT has a free eleven-minute audio guide to PMR.
Find a quiet, comfortable place. It should be relatively dark.
Lie down or sit comfortably. Loosen or remove tight clothing.
Focus on a particular muscle group. You can start at your toes and work up, or start with your forehead and work down.
Tense all the muscles in that group as hard as you can. For example, if you’re starting with your head, raise your eyebrows as far as they will go and open your eyes wide.
Hold for 5 seconds, then release. Squeeze your eyes shut tightly. Hold for 5 seconds, then release.
Move to the next muscle group and tense those muscles. For example, purse your lips tightly for 5 seconds, then release. Then, smile as wide as you can for 5 seconds, then release.
Progress through the rest of your muscle groups, such as neck, shoulders, arms, chest, stomach, buttocks, thighs, lower legs, feet, and toes.