Ten steps to deep relaxation
Our lives are full of stress and pressures, some we
create ourselves, others we cannot control. Coping with the stresses of modern
life is an essential skill and there are many techniques available to us. This
is one method that I found that works for me.
With your eyes closed, imagine you are standing at the top of a
flight of ten steps. These are very safe steps. We're going to go down these
steps together. At the bottom, you are going to be completely relaxed.
On the first step down, I want you to notice your breathing.
Keep it as even and as steady as you can and remember that on the "out" breath
you can increase the level of relaxation a great deal.
On the second step down, keep your breath even. On the "out"
breath, relax your legs and your arms completely so they hang like heavy
weights, floppy, heavy limbs, almost disassociated from you. Breathe away the
tension on every "out" breath, even and steady, heavy and relaxed.
On the third step down, I want you to think about your buttocks,
stomach, and chest. See if you can make them even more relaxed. On each "out"
breath, let go of the stomach and midriff so they are completely relaxed and
quiet breathing even and steady.
On the fourth step down, I want you to concentrate on the
muscles in your face and jaw. On the next "out" breath loosen your jaw. Let your
jaw hang open and breathe away the tension in your jaw, your temples and all the
muscles around your eyes. Make your forehead smooth, keeping your breathing even
On the fifth step down, I want you to relax, from the top of
your head, right down to your spine. Imagine the tension flowing like water over
the top of your head, down the back of your neck and down to your spine. Let
yourself rest comfortably in a chair, allowing the chair to support all of
your weight, keeping your breathing even and steady.
On the sixth step down, I want you to unwind any differences
between the two sides of your body. See an imaginary line running down between
your nose, right down the center of your body, and see if the two sides are
perfectly balanced. If you can detect that one part is more tense than the
other, on the next "out" breath, concentrate on the body part, reducing it
further and further, letting the tension relax away. Make it the same as
the good side, relaxing further and further.
On the seventh step down, I want you to start relaxing your
mind. Focus your attention on a very soothing, peaceful image, far away
from here. If other thoughts come to your mind, gently push them off to
one side. You can deal with them some other time. Absorb yourself
totally into this one single soothing image. Breathing "out" evenly and
steadily, relaxing further and further, holding that image in your mind's eye
and exploring it.
On the eighth step down, I want you to say to yourself on each
"out" breath, some word you associate with deep relaxation, such as you are
feeling at this moment. It might be "relax", "soothe", "letting go", or it
might be a word that reminds you of an image that is most soothing for you.
It should be a word that can evoke for you this beautiful, peaceful, balanced state that you
can achieve for yourself.
On the ninth step down, return to your peaceful image, hold it
in your mind, and just enjoy this feeling that you now have. Your body is
now completely relaxed and balanced. There is nothing you need to think
about except your soothing scene.
Finally, you step down to the bottom of the stairs, completely
relaxed and peaceful. Your body is heavy and tired. Your mind is
well-balanced, holding that peaceful image. When you turn to come back up
these stairs, you will find that you have retained this feeling, that you will
go on feeling peaceful and alert all day, feeling as though you have just had a
As you walk back up these steps, gradually arouse your body as
Nine...move your feet and toes.
Eight...move your fingers a little.
Seven...stretch out your arms and feel the stretch.
Six...move your legs. Stretch your legs a little bit.
Five...move your shoulders.
Four...move your head a little bit.
Three...take a deep breath and exhale.
Two...open your eyes.
One...come back to where you began at the top of the stairs.