Try for freeTry for free
MeditationCalm Your Racing Thoughts

Calm Your Racing Thoughts

When your thoughts are racing, relaxation techniques can help you recenter and ease anxiety. Today, join Joy Ofodu for a progressive muscle relaxation technique you can use to quiet your mind, especially before bed.

Try 14 days free

Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

Try 14 days free
Better mental health starts with Headspace

Joy here. How'd you sleep last night? Sleep is such an important part of caring for our mental and emotional wellbeing, but it's not always easy to get a good night's sleep. Maybe you have a lifestyle that makes it tough to get the sleep you need like little kids or a job with night shifts, or maybe your brain tends to turn on instead of off when you get under the covers. The sleep struggle can be real and it impacts so many of us. Between 10% and 30% of adults in the US struggle with insomnia, so if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, there are lots of people out there doing the exact same thing. But there is good news for all of us. There are practices to help us quiet our minds and we can use these practices before bed or in any moment when our anxious thoughts are racing. Relaxation techniques can help you step away from your thoughts and reconnect to the present moment. I'll guide you through one now which you can turn to whenever you need it. (gentle music) 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, try to 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. We'll 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 of our bodies are different so only do what feels good to you. You can modify by simply doing deep 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 them for a count of 10. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, release. Move up to your legs. Point your feet, stretch your ankles and tense up all the muscles in your legs. Hold it for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, relax. Now to your torso. Tighten your abdomen as if you're trying to sit up straight using these muscles alone. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Relax and feel your whole torso melt. Now our hands. Make your hands into fists or claws and tense up all the little muscles in them Holding for two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, relax. And the arms. Stretch your arms out and tense your biceps for 10 counts. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Let them rest. Now breathe into your shoulders and neck. No need to tense them. Just imagine your breath...


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.

    More about Andy
  • 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.

    More about Eve
  • 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.

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

    More about Kessonga
  • 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.

    More about Rosie
Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Stress, sleep, and all the challenging emotions — care for your mind with the everyday mental health app that's shown to make a difference.

Try 14 days free
Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

Proven guided meditations and programs to help you stress less, sleep more soundly, and better navigate life’s challenges

Science Backed


Studies show that using Headspace for 30 days can reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being

Explore Content

Explore 1000+ 
expert-led exercises

Access our library of meditations, breathing exercises, and guidance videos for stress, sleep, focus, everyday anxiety , parenting, and more.

Member reviews

Hear from some of our members

Your app brings so much peace and tolerance to our home.




Changing my thoughts has allowed me to change my life.




The stress and loneliness courses … taught me how to comfort myself.




Headspace provides me with … a connection to myself, and a disconnection from negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.




More to explore

Beginning Meditation


Reframe Stress and Relax


New and Popular


Becoming a Mindful Parent

    • Terms & conditions
    • Privacy policy
    • Consumer Health Data
    • Your privacy choices
      Privacy Choices Icon
    • CA Privacy Notice
  • © 2024 Headspace Inc.
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Consumer Health Data
  • Your privacy choices
    Privacy Choices Icon
  • CA Privacy Notice