How to Reduce Tension With Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Stress is, unfortunately, a regular part of living a modern lifestyle, so if you’re currently living a stress-free life, you can call yourself lucky. The economy, joblessness, and generally the current political and social climate contribute a lot to stress. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a lot of people all over the world have some health issues due to accumulated stress and anxiety.

There are many ways to reduce tension, especially when it comes to muscles in your body. Muscles are often the first to tense when we encounter a stressful situation or state. So for that reason, here is how you can reduce tension with progressive muscle relaxation.

First, what is progressive muscle relaxation?

This relaxing technique is about tensing a certain group of muscles while you’re breathing in, and then relaxing them as you breathe out. There’s a certain order of how to do it. There are audio exercises that can give you useful pointers on how to get started, so it’s recommended to use them until you get a grasp of them.

What are the main benefits?

As the name says, the benefits are all about entering a peaceful state, by relaxing muscles in your body, each group at the time. Once your body is completely relaxed, it’s difficult to get anxious. Some studies revealed that this type of muscle relaxation might reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is also a great way to improve sleep quality, reduce back pain and decrease the frequency of migraine attacks. Therefore, if you have issues with everything mentioned above, then it’s very likely you’ll experience benefits by practicing PMR.

How to begin?

Each muscle group in your body requires a different clenching technique, which is why using guided audio exercises is a great way to start. Also, since this may require some time to practice, be sure to give yourself time until you master this technique. Being patient, while also minimizing stress in your life, will help you along the way. This is a fairly easy relaxation technique that you can do at your own home, just remember to wear loose, relaxing clothing and to switch off your phone and other devices in order to minimize the distractions.

Should I use other props or tips?

PMR is a great tool for healthy relaxation, however, you can also implement other tips or props, mainly if you’re dealing with a lot of stress at a certain point in your life. For example, using a percussion massager is a helpful way to relieve tension during long office hours or when you’re sitting in front of the TV. Additionally, doing stretching exercise, or yoga will help you get in touch with yourself and relieve muscle tension in the long run. Progressive muscle relaxation is useful, but if you ever feel like it’s not enough, then you’re free to incorporate additional treatments and tips.

Keep your mind healthy as well

Mind and body are intrinsically connected, so it’s important to keep your mind in a healthy state as well. Practicing meditation, tai chi, massage, journaling, or going to therapy are all effective ways to reduce stress and get in touch with your feelings. When you feel good from within, your body will follow as well. A lot of mental health symptoms tend to manifest as health issues, so if you’ve been doing many checkups and all results come back clear, then it’s recommended to invest in your mental health too.

All of this requires practice

Relaxation might seem easy, but it’s actually a discipline that requires some practice. Also, be sure to allow yourself to relax. Some people can feel guilty every time they relax, which is why it’s essential to work things through if that is your issue. Being aware of muscle tension and physical symptoms of stress can help you learn better coping techniques and exercises. Additionally, there are people who experience emotional discomfort and flashbacks whenever they try relaxing, so if that happens to you, stop what you’re doing and consult your physician or mental health provider.


Implementing progressive muscle relaxation is a useful way to relieve tense muscles. If you’re going through stressful moments on a daily level, then you’ll definitely benefit from this relaxation technique. It’s also important to take care of your mental health, and use additional props and healthy coping tools, as all of that together will help you manage stress and feel safe and relaxed.

Read more: Most Commonly Used Body Massagers


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