Self-Relaxation
The long technique

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RELAXATION  MEDITATION

Relaxation and some meditation use the same process. Don't be put off by the words, which in this context are interchangeable. If you are going to relax, you have to do something with your mind, whether "blanking" it, or keeping it occupied in some way. As soon as you do this, you are "meditating". There are other types of meditation we will not deal with here.

 The value of Relaxation is CONTROLLED STRESS, BETTER MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH, MORE CREATIVITY, BETTER MOOD CONTROL, GREATER JOY.

 The Relaxation Techniques described here are designed for your own use. You may find it useful to read the method into a voice recorder so that you do not have to think about what comes next. Use a 'hypnotic' voice so that you are not continually making yourself more alert - except at the end, when you want to be alert!   

  WARNING: Never use a recorded relaxation message in a moving vehicle, except with headphones in a section separated from the driver/pilot by a bulkhead!

 Find a place where you can relax safely. Ensure that you will not be interrupted. Put the phone on an answering machine or take it off the hook. You can lie down, or sit in a chair. If you sit, sit where you are comfortable.

 [In very rare cases, a person may find relaxation exercises very disturbing. If this is your experience, you need to work with a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or hypnotherapist to devise relaxation methods which will be safe and satisfactory for you.]

 There are three techniques described here.

 1. TENSE/RELAX

The first is a common relaxation method especially helpful for people who are polarized or highly defended in particular ways. When someone suggests they relax, they become more alert!

 In order to gain a relaxed state, you need to first TENSE a section of the body, hold it tense [enough to tense the muscles but not to hurt yourself!] for a count of five, and then let go completely. NOTICE the feeling of relaxation in the muscles for a count of five, then move on to the next part of the body.

 To learn this, find a place where you will be comfortable and uninterrupted. Do the exercise slowly. The numbers are part of the exercise so that you can remember it easily at any time. Sit with your eyes closed and imagine a bright beam of light focusing on

your right arm. The light brings healing and peace as an after-effect. But for you, it is a tensing light. The light moves up and down your arm, penetrating skin and tissue, reaching every part and producing a uniform tension..

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light moves to the left arm and repeats the process.

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light now moves to your right leg, from toe to groin.

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light moves to your left leg, and the process is repeated.

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light now moves into the lower body. It moves over all the outer surface and then all through every organ and part of you.

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light moves into the upper body, and the process is repeated. The light enables you to breathe in such a way that is most comfortable and beneficial for you,

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light moves into the neck and shoulders.

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. The light moves into the head, face and scalp, moves inside the brain, the memory, the thinking process.

As this is taking place, Count five, let go, and notice the relaxation for a count of five. Then recall the relaxation that you have experienced, and let that be a whole-body experience, and passively let it happen for as long as you would like to enjoy it. You may profitably use the mantra at this point.

ALWAYS BRING YOURSELF BACK TO ALERTNESS BY COUNTING BACK FROM FIVE TO ONE ATI H THE INTENTION OF COMING BACK TO YOUR NORMAL ALERTNESS FEELING EXCELLENT.

 2. MANTRA

Another system of relaxation/meditation is that of reciting a mantra. A mantra is simply a word which you repeat over and over to enter your state. You may choose any word which is suitable - don't choose a word which has a particular emotional connection for you.

I use the word "soma". It is the old Greek word for "body", but as it is not a word that has any history in my life, I can let it have a meaning whenever I want. Its usefulness lies in the way I silently recite it, because it contains two sounds that have been traditionally used in meditation, om and ah. So when I breathe in I have the sound "sowmm" and when I breathe out I have the sound "aahh". Mostly I internalize the sound; I hear it in my head. I hear the sound reverberating throughout my present, my past, and my future, throughout the whole universe. I have the sound, and try to let pictures not be ..., float away, and let feelings just dissipate whenever they arise.

 Try to do this for increasing periods ... five minutes .... then ten ... and increase it to twenty minutes once or twice a day.

 Some people keep a notebook by them to make lightening note of anything they remember during meditation. Certainly be alert to the increased flow of ideas that will come during the day. Write them down, assess them, and act on what is useful.

ALWAYS BRING YOURSELF BACK TO ALERTNESS BY COUNTING BACK FROM FIVE TO ONE WITH THE INTENTION OF COMING BACK TO YOUR NORMAL ALERTNESS.

 3. WHOLE BODY RELAXATION

This is a valuable method. Like the others, while some results will be apparent immediately, practice brings steady improvement in skill and benefits.

The use of tone, whether in a recording or internalized sound, is important. As you use the method, bore yourself or to be more precise, bore your left brain in order to let your right brain handle the process. Let your voice tone permit you to really relax.

 LET THE VOICE FALL AWAY

IN TONE AND VOLUME

AND DIE AWAY IN A WHISPER. Right hand relax =

Right  ha aa nd . . . . reelax …s  s  s

The relaxation is set out below. You will find that it comes naturally, and if you accidentally leave a section out, it doesn't matter! [Some people become confused about left and right when they are relaxed. It is not a matter for concern. Correct yourself gently, and carry on.

Once you are relaxed, you may use the mantra, or hold any useful image or thought in the mind without active thinking.

 ALWAYS BRING YOURSELF BACK TO ALERTNESS BY COUNTING BACK FROM FIVE TO ONE WITH THE INTENTION OF COMING BACK TO YOUR NORMAL ALERTNESS FEELING EXCELLENT.

 WHOLE BODY RELAXATION

Lie or sit. Do not cross legs or join hands. No radio or TV but relaxing music if suitable.   Make sure that you are comfortable and in a safe place where you will not be interrupted.   Pretend that you are inside the part of your body and that you are giving it permission ..   Talk internally  to different parts of your body The process is supposed to be boring to your conscious mind!   Right    toes Relax ......... top of the foot ... Relax ......... sole of the foot Relax ......... Right    ankle Relax ......... Right    lower leg Relax ......... Right    knee Relax ......... Right    thigh Relax ......... Left    toes Relax ......... top of the foot ... Relax ......... sole of the foot Relax ......... Left    ankle Relax ......... Left    lower leg Relax ......... Left    knee Relax ......... Left    thigh Relax ......... Imagine a line across the groin through to the back   and all the muscle and tissue in between and silently tell the area You are free to function automatically,   You are free to relax ......(and let go ...) The lower abdomen You are free to function automatically,   You are free to relax ......(and let go ...) The navel You are free to function automatically,   You are free to relax ......(and let go ...) The stomach You are free to function automatically,   You are free to relax ......(and let go ...) The lower chest You are free to function automatically,   You are free to relax ......(and let go ...) The upper chest You are free to function automatically,   You are free to relax ......(and let go ...) Right    fingers Relax ......... back of the hand Relax ......... palm of the hand Relax ......... Right    thumb Relax ......... Right    wrist Relax ......... Right    elbow Relax ......... Right    upper arm Relax ......... Right    shoulder Relax ......... Right    shoulder-blade Relax ......... Left    shoulder-blade Relax ......... Left    fingers Relax ......... Left    back of the hand Relax ......... Left    palm of the hand Relax ......... Left    thumb Relax ......... Left    wrist Relax ......... Left    elbow Relax ......... Left    upper arm Relax ......... Left    shoulder Relax ......... Throat Relax ......... Tongue Relax......... Lips Relax......... Nose Relax......... Right    cheek Relax ......... Right    ear Relax ......... Right    back of the neck Relax ......... Left    back of the neck Relax .........

Left    ear              Relax .........

Left    cheek              Relax .........

Centre of the forehead      Relax .........

Right eye-brow      Relax .........

Left    eye-brow      Relax .........

Right side of the forehead    Relax .........

Left side of the forehead      Relax .........

Hairline                Relax .........

Scalp                   Relax .........

Pretend that each bone in the back-bone is the centre of contact for the surrounding

parts of the body....so

First    bone    Relax .........

Second bone    Relax .........

Third bone    Relax .........

Fourth bone    Relax .........

Fifth    bone    Relax .........

Sixth    bone    Relax .........

And continue moving down conformably

between the shoulder blades, down the hollow

of the back, down to the last bone of the back-bone ....

relaxing all the way, and then ....

Come up the back-bone slowly relaxing

all the inner body as you move

towards the top of the back-bone      Relax .........

And then move into the head Brain,   Relax ....

Then drift to the front centre and remember

some wonderful experience, and let the

feeling flow out into your whole body.

And either use the mantra for a while

or let your mind reflect on something good you believe is important for the moment ...... And then when you are ready, you can tell yourself to become alert again by counting from five to one, telling yourself as you do this that you are coming back to full alertness, and when you reach one, wriggle and move away from the place where you have been relaxing, now fully alert.

 © David Townsend 1997  2009

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