Peer Health

Relaxation Techniques

Quick Relaxation

  • Loosen your clothing and get comfortable.
  • Tighten the muscles in your toes. Hold for a count of 10. Relax and enjoy the sensation of release from tension.
  • Flex the muscles in your feet. Hold for a count of 10. Relax.
  • Move slowly up through your body – legs, abdomen, back, neck, face – contracting and relaxing muscles as your go.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply.

Long-Term Relaxation

  • Get in a comfortable position. Minimally tighten your right fist so that you feel only the smallest amount of tension. Hold it at this level. Be sure you continue to breathe… Now let go and relax… Observe the difference in feelings between the right and left arm and fist.
  • Now minimally tighten your left fist. Hold at this level so that you just feel the tightening… Let go and relax. Let the relaxation spread through the arms and the rest of the body.
  • Now tighten ever so slightly the following parts of your body: (Each time tighten only to the point at which you can observe tension, where you can observe tension, where you become conscious of or can “feel” the tension. Hold the tensions at that level, and be sure you tighten only the intended muscle while the rest of the body stays quiet and relaxed. Be sure you continue to breathe. Each time you let go, let those parts relax further and further.) Tighten ever so slightly your scalp… let go and relax… Let the face become smooth and soft… Let the eyes sink into their sockets… Now slightly tighten the throat and neck. Hold it… Let go and relax.
  • While continuing to breathe, minimally tighten the triceps. Be sure the neck, eyes, and tongue are relaxed. Let go.
  • Raise your shoulders to your ears minimally. Be sure the neck stays loose. Observe how the shoulders feel different from the rest of the body… Let go and relax. Feel the relaxation sinking through the body… Minimally tighten the stomach. Keep breathing… Let go and relax. Minimally tighten the buttocks… Let go and relax. Minimally tighten the feet, calves, and thighs… Let go and relax. Let yourself reach an even deeper level of relaxation, a calmness and serenity.
  • Now minimally tense every muscle in your body so that you just feel the minimum tensions… jaws… eyes… shoulders… arms… chest… back… legs… stomach… Be sure you keep breathing. Feel the minimum tension in every part. Let your whole body relax. Feel a wave of calmness as your stop tensing.
  • Now, with your eyes closed, take a deep breath and hold it. Note all the minimum tensions… Exhale and feel the relaxation and calmness developing… Note the feeling of heaviness.
Meditation is a way to lower your blood pressure as well as amp up your immune system as well as improving your ability to concentrate. There are many types of meditations some of them born out of religious practices and others of the secular kind.  What they have in common is the stilling of the body and shutting out the external world.  Studies have shown that regular meditation can improve both your physical and emotional responses to stress.
On Campus
The Meditation Society facilitates all kinds of meditations on Monday-Friday, 8 am and 8 pm in Thompson Chapel Basement in the O’Connel Room. They also host a MediTeasion on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm, where they offer tea and snacks after the meditation.
If you want more information please email the meditation society listserve.