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  • Writer's pictureIt’s Complicated

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

When I was deep in my depression hole, I used to be super overwhelmed with anything and everything. I was stressed and couldn't stop crying at all, had no motivation for anything and I couldn't find anything that would help me. Everything I did in the past to help me calm down just wasn't working anymore.

I was seeing a therapist, who was a health psychologist, to help with my health problems. Just before I was discharged due to COVID, she taught me something call Progessive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). It is so simple and the best thing I've come across to help with overwhelming feelings, stress, insomnia etc.

So what is PMR?

According to webmd, Progressive Muscle Relaxation "is a deep relaxation technique that has been effectively used to control stress, anxiety, relieve insomnia and reduce symptoms of certain types of chronic pain".

How does it work ?

The technique is very simple. All you have to do is tense and release one muscle group at a time. I've found it's a lot more effective to inhale when tensing and exhale on release.

For example, you take a deep breathe in whilst tensing you shoulders by shrugging and slowly exhale and let you shoulders drop and feel relaxed.

Its helpful to change the group of muscles you use as you continue. Starting with shoulders, move onto your hands, then thighs etc. This can be done standing, sitting or laying down.

Personally, PMR has helped me immensely. The effects are almost immediate and there's a nice sense of calm upon the release. As someone with chronic pain, it's a great technique for me as it's not painful at all and I control how i do it and when. It doesn't require any equipment either which is a plus.


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