Chapter 4

Relaxing Your Body

In This Chapter

arrow Understanding the effects of tension

arrow Recognizing your tension

arrow Breathing properly

arrow Using suggestion to relax

arrow Stretching and massaging

When we hear the word relaxation, we tend to think of activities that take our minds off the stresses in our lives: watching some TV, curling up with a good book, playing a round of golf, taking a nap — anything that might take us out of our world of worry, fear, and concern. In this chapter, though, learning to relax means something different. It means acquiring specific relaxation skills that can help you reduce bodily tension in a direct and systematic way. Rather than simply distract you or providing you with some temporary pleasure, these approaches focus more directly on releasing muscle tension.

This chapter describes strategies and techniques that can help you let go of tension and relax your body. Chapter 5 shows you how to relax your mind. Together, these tools provide you with an important set of ...

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