sTre$s! part 3 (or relaxation part 1) Guest post from Dr. Angel Duncan – a de-stress exercise

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to a wonderful friend, Dr. Angel Duncan. She graciously accepted my invitation to write a post for the blog. Without further ado, here’s Angel….

Stress can take quite a toll on our mind and body. The next time you are feeling frazzled and tied into knots, try the following 5 minute release-only relaxation exercise to bring your mind and body back into a state of calm. The release-only relaxation focuses on tension release without having to tighten your muscles. This is easier to practice and takes less time. The more you practice this exercise, the more it will become second nature. You might want to read through the following script at least once before beginning.

Release-only relaxation

Close your eyes and sit in a relaxed position. Breathing through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, take in a breath and hold for a count of 3 and exhale. Breathe with calm, regular breaths and feel how you relax more and more with every breath … Just let go … Relax your forehead … eyebrows. . . eyelids … jaw … tongue and throat … lips … your entire face … Relax your neck … shoulders … arms . . . hands . . . and all the way out to your fingertips… Breathe calmly and regularly… Let the relaxation spread to your stomach. .. waist… and back … Relax the lower part of your body… your behind … thighs … knees … calves … feet … and all the way down to the tips of your toes … Breathe calmly and regularly and feel how you relax more and more with each breath … Take a deep breath and hold it for a couple of seconds … and let the air out slowly … slowly … Notice how you relax more and more.  My breathing is calm and regular.  I am going to count back from 4 to 1.  When I get to 1, I will open my eyes and will feel much more relaxed.  4…3…2…1.

Dr. Duncan is a pre-licensed psychologist with a practice in Pasadena. Her specialties include Mood & Anxiety Disorders, Grief & Loss, and Life transitions. She can be reached at (818) 470-3193.

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