Psychology

Learn active relaxation

 | August 23, 2011

We work, we train and, accordingly, we have to replenish our energy.

My clients and I can all relate to working religiously towards our goals and feeling delighted when we do well. Often though, we can expend so much energy that we unexpectedly find ourselves not sleeping well at night, feeling drowsy in the mornings and maybe even eating extra food for an energy boost. This isn’t uncommon, and is often a sign we’re not actively and consciously finding a way to recharge and replenish the energy stores we have. We’re “working on empty.”

The key question here is how do we actively nurture our energy to recharge and at the same time release tension?

When we find ourselves out of balance, check the basics. Have nourished properly and replenished our energy physically and mentally?

“Active relaxation” is a terrific tool that I teach my clients. This exercise is simple and the relaxation part of it happens as a result of activating your muscles. It’s a method of powerfully recharging the system and in doing so releases tension.

The following technique allows us to engage each muscle in turn and activate it to the full. The resulting release of each muscle is necessitated by releasing tension so we achieve a state of relaxation easily.

Starting with the feet, tense all the tiny, medium and large muscles in your feet and hold them tight for a whole minute. When you absolutely cannot tense your feet muscles to their full strength any longer, release those muscles and move up the body to your next set of muscles. Make sure you spend time with each and every muscle set within your body including the muscles in your face.

At the end of the exercise, allow yourself a huge sigh as a means to replenish every single cell in each of the muscles you’ve consciously activated and relaxed.

The key here is regularity. With repetition, this will become one of the most powerful and simple habits for active relaxation that you’ll learn.

Enjoy the process and use it daily. My clients use this exercise most during long periods of travel between competitions and before bed each night. It absolutely could be used anywhere at any time. Make sure your physician has given you the green light to use this technique and enjoy the unwind!

Train yourself to have an awesome day!

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