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MeditationSoothe Your Body

Soothe Your Body

Join Elisha for a guided progressive muscle relaxation exercise to help ground and soothe yourself.

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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.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

We can start our days with all the right things. A solid sleep, delicious breakfast, and an organized to-do list. But even on those days and any others, anxiety can creep in. We can feel our minds go off on a thought spiral or dwell on something negative. We can lose sight of our goals and wants for the day and feel like we have to give in to our stress. But there is a way to calm some of these feelings, using tools we always have at our disposal: our bodies and our breath. When we use our bodies to ground ourselves in the present, we can step out of our anxiety for a moment. That could mean doing some deep breathing or meditation or a good stretch. It can also mean progressive muscle relaxation, a science-backed way of grounding ourselves. Today, let's give that technique some practice. You can come back to it whenever you are in an anxiety spiral. Before we begin, a special note. Our bodies are all different, so listen to yours and only do what feels good for you. You'll still receive all the benefits of this work if you modify what you need to. (calming music) First, find yourself a comfy position. And if it feels good, close your eyes or just lower your gaze. Take a long, deep breath in and out. Again, in and out. One more, make it the longest and deepest in and out. Progressive muscle relaxation is shown to lower the intensity of stress. It involves tightening and relaxing your muscles in turn, one by one. So first, scrunch your toes up. Not so tight that it hurts, just so that all those little muscles are engaged. Hold them scrunched for 10 seconds. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, release. Next, move up to your legs. Tense up all the muscles in your legs, feeling your muscles squeeze and stiffen. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and release. We're gonna keep working our way up the body, so next is our torso. Tighten your stomach muscles as you silently count to 10. (calming music continues) (calming music continues) And release. Now your arms. (calming music continues) (calming music continues) And let it go. Almost to the end. Take note of how you are feeling, or notice any changes to the parts of your body we've already gone through. From here, we can do our shoulders and neck. Scrunch it all up for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and let it go. Last, our face. Twist up your face however you want to so that the muscles are engaged. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and let it go. Amazing job. Take another deep breath with me in and out. Ask yourself, how does that make me feel? Did it help me refocus and find calm? If you are not totally zen,...


Duration7 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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