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MeditationCalm Body, Calm Mind

Calm Body, Calm Mind

When we’re caught in anxious thoughts, intentionally relaxing our bodies can help soothe our minds, too. Today, join Mel for a progressive muscle relaxation technique you can use to ground yourself, especially before bed.

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Isn't it strange how we can be so tired all day, but the second we lay down to sleep, our minds go into hyperdrive. Some of us experience this kind of anxiety nightly, where for others it might be more situational, but there is good news for all of us. We have the power to calm our brains down whenever we need to. Whether it's before bed or a big meeting, we can quiet our minds by checking in with our bodies. A relaxation exercise can help. I'll guide you through one now, which you can turn to whenever you need it. Get in a comfy position. If it feels good, roll your shoulders out, back and forward. Gently close your eyes or simply lower your gaze. Take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose and out your mouth. One more in and out on this next one. Let's hold the breath for a count of three after inhaling in hold, two, three out. Now we're going to try what's called progressive muscle relaxation will isolate parts of the body one by one to tense them up and then relax them completely. Remember to keep breathing as we do this and know that all our bodies are different, so do only what feels good to you. You can modify by simply doing belly breaths for anything that may not be available to you. Let's start by bringing your attention to your feet. Scrunch your toes and hold it for a count of 10. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Release. Move up to your legs. Point your feet, stretch your ankles and tense up all the muscles in your legs. Hold it. 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Relax now to your torso. Tighten your abdomen as if you're trying to sit up straight using these muscles alone. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Relax and feel your whole torso melt. Now our hands make your hands into fists or claws. Tens up all the little muscles in them holding. 4, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Relax and the arms. Stretch your arms out. 10, your biceps for 10 counts. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Let them rest. Now. Breathe into your shoulders and neck. No need to tense them. Just imagine your breath entering those muscles, creating space. Let them relax with each exhale. In and out. In and out. Great job today. Notice if your body feels a little different, maybe a little more grounded, a little more open. This exercise is available to you whenever you feel anxiety creep in or when you just want to unwind. Repeat this after me out loud or in your head. I am calm from the inside out. I am calm from the inside out. Let's take a final deep breath together, in and out. Remember, when...


Duration8 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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