Relaxation contributes to real health benefits like reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, lessened muscle tension, and relief from chronic pain. When you think about creating a relaxation program for yourself, the results will be very individual. It all depends on what works for you! When you are starting out, you should consider a mix of peaceful, fun activities, mental relaxation programs, and techniques for how to relax the body.

When it comes to physically relaxing the body, one method is to systematically relax each muscle in your body. This takes about 15 minutes, so you will need to find a quiet place where you can relax undisturbed for that amount of time. You will need to sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. Examine your mind and see if you find any negative thoughts or points of tension. Before you begin relaxing your muscles, deal with these thoughts. Disarm them by putting them out of your mind, and do not let them interfere with your relaxation session.

Now, close your eyes and begin to control your breathing. Take slow, deep, even breaths and feel your body begin to relax. Bend wrist back, hold the tension for a moment, and relax. Repeat on the other wrist. Now make fists with both hands, hold, and relax. Bend your arms at the elbows and lift towards your shoulders, tightening your biceps muscles as you do so. Hold and relax.

Let's move to the upper body. Drop your head towards your chest and feel the stretch along the back of your neck. Hold and relax. Raise your shoulders in a shrug, hold, and relax. Hold a deep breath while you press your shoulder blades together by pulling your elbows back behind you. Hold and relax. Stretch your abs by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Hold and relax. Arch your back away from the chair, hold, and relax.

Now for the legs and feet. Press both feet flat against the floor, hold, and relax. Raise each leg up in front of you, stretch the thigh, and relax. Place the feet on floor again and bend the toes up. Hold, and relax.

Slowly open your eyes, get up from your chair, and get on with your day with smooth, relaxed muscles!

When trying to relax the body or the mind, you may find it helpful to use guided imagery audio or scripts. These scripts will direct you in a program of thoughts that create a relaxing virtual experience, like lying on the beach or walking through a sunny meadow. Because of the mind-body connection, you will feel the physical benefits of these imagined activities.

If you enjoy testing and stretching the body and find this type of activity relaxing, you should also consider practicing yoga. Because of its delightful stretching maneuvers, yoga is great for muscle relaxation. It also requires poise and focus that lead you to clear your mind of everyday worries and stress-inducing thoughts. No matter what your athletic ability, you can find a yoga program that will challenge and relax you.

Author's Bio: 

Jill Magso is a member of the Silva Team and contributes to spreading enlightened ideas and sharing teachings about meditation practices. The Silva Method encompasses a variety of powerful exercises that take you deep into Alpha and Theta levels of the mind so that you can work within your subconscious as well as your conscious mind.