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Want to destress your mind? Start with your body. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a practice where you methodically tense and release your muscles to help unwind. Studies show it can reduce anxiety, help you get better sleep and lower depression levels.
Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/y6stdy3b
As a war correspondent and an Afghani refugee, Nelufar Hedayat is acutely aware of how stress feels in her body. For our show, Nelufar tried Progressive Muscle Relaxation: But what the practice’s title doesn’t mention is that you methodically tense your muscles, before releasing them.. At first, it triggered feelings of distress for her. But after recently being diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, Nelufar was able to reframe her relationship to the exercise. By separating the sensation of tensing from stress, she completed the practice feeling empowered and euphoric. Later, we hear from psychologist Loren Toussaint about the importance of intentionally engaging our body’s relaxation response. We also learn how Progressive Muscle Relaxation compares to other well-known relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and visualization.
Listen to next week’s Happiness Break on October 5th for a short guided version of this practice.
Try following these steps for Progressive Muscle Relaxation from Kaiser Permanente: https://tinyurl.com/4k668ehv
Nelufar Hedayat is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker who has reported on numerous conflict zones. Her new podcast Ritually explores the role of wellness and spiritual practices in contemporary society.
Listen to Ritually: https://tinyurl.com/mtzvf2kp
Follow Nelufar on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/42ytnytw
Follow Nelufar on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/y6abuvtp
Follow Nelufar on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/mr2weemp
Loren Toussaint is a professor of psychology at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Learn more about Loren and his work: https://tinyurl.com/4ea2jx9x
Follow Loren on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/mry2yb4s
Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:
Four Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times: https://tinyurl.com/6apdf52p
How Resting More Can Boost Your Productivity: https://tinyurl.com/23h6rnvw
How a Body Scan Can Help With Strong Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/59tyjbhr
How Tuning In to Your Body Can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/y2jhfmpe
Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/3f79nsav
More Resources for A Good Night’s Sleep
University of Toledo- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: https://tinyurl.com/2kadu7va
Mayo Clinic - Relaxation techniques: Try these steps to reduce stress: https://tinyurl.com/2tfrnnew
BBC - Can’t stop your brain racing at 3am? Try these suggestions from a GP: https://tinyurl.com/yvz45x5w
PTSD UK - How Progressive Muscle Relaxation can help people with PTSD: https://tinyurl.com/4b89auzw
Tell us about your experience with the progressive muscle relaxation practice! Email us at email@example.com or use the hashtag #happinesspod.
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