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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Progressive RelaxationRelajaci┬│n progresiva

Progressive Relaxation

Your body needs relaxation to reduce stress and undo the fight-or-flight response. It helps to plan for 20 minutes of relaxation every day. This is time for yourself. Sit or lie comfortably. Limit distractions like phones. Listen to soft music or just sit in silence. And try the relaxation technique below.

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Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation helps your whole body relax. To try this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Find a quiet room. Sit in a comfortable chair or lie on your back.

  2. Inhale deeply to a slow count of 5. Feel your belly, chest, and back expand. Exhale slowly to a count of 5.

  3. After a few minutes, inhale deeply. Tighten the muscles in your feet. Notice how it feels. Hold the tension for 3 seconds.

  4. Exhale while relaxing the tightened muscles. Notice how relaxed you feel.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with another muscle group. You can progress from your feet, calves, and thighs to your stomach, arms, and hands.

Remember the 4 A's

  • Avoid a stressor. If someone is smoking when you're trying to quit, leave the room.

  • Accept a stressor you can't change, like a job loss, by knowing that your feelings are normal.

  • Alter how you deal with a stressor. If a constantly ringing phone is a stressor, let the answering machine pick up.

  • Adapt to some stressors. When starting a new exercise program, instead of focusing on how hard it will be, think how good you will feel.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

Jay L. Jordan, MD, is an experienced cardiologist and internal medicine physician who provides a comprehensive range of cardiac care services in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas and nearby communities. Take the first step in preventing and controlling heart disease with symptoms such as angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, carotid artery disease, chest pain, congestive heart failure, coronary vascular disease, hypertension, palpitations, shortness of breath and stroke. Call Dr. Jay L. Jordan at 310-854-5493 or request an appointment online.

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