Stress is an unavoidable fact of life, but usually hurts more than it helps. Though stress over your weight may have been what compelled you to begin searching for medical weight loss doctors in East Brunswick, too much stress can slow the progress of your weight loss program. When stress builds up, it can hamper your healthy habits with poor motivation and the extra calories added by emotional overeating.
All of us can benefit from better stress management, and there are many ways to control stress that require nothing more than your own body. One of the simplest stress management techniques to master is known as progressive muscle relaxation.
The concept behind progressive muscle relaxation is simple: tense muscles are stressed muscles, so you want to slowly release the tension in your muscles to reduce stress naturally. You will work through each muscle in succession, holding it flexed for about 20 seconds before releasing it and focusing on the tension leaving that muscle for 10 seconds. For the best results, you should try to tune out other thoughts and concentrate completely on the sensations of your muscles.
Find a relaxing place to sit or lie down, then go through each of your muscle groups in this order:
- Forehead. Push your eyebrows up towards your hairline and hold. Release.
- Nose and eyes. Hold your eyes shut as tightly as possible. Release.
- Mouth. Clench your jaw and grimace. Release.
- Neck. Look down at the ground and hold your chin towards your chest. Release.
- Shoulders. Hold a shrug. Release.
- Back. Arch your spine and hold. Release.
- Chest. Hold a deep breath. Release.
- Stomach. Flex your abdominal muscles and hold. Release.
- Arms. Bend your elbows and flex your biceps. Release.
- Hands. Extend your arms and clench your fists. Release.
- Hips. Flex your posterior. Release.
- Thighs. Push your legs together tightly. Release.
- Calves. Push down on the ground with your feet. Release.
- Feet. Angle your toes up towards your head. Release.
It should take you at least 10 minutes to go through all your body’s muscles, so don’t rush it. For the best results, resolve to perform progressive muscle relaxation once or twice a day. You can also combine this technique with other relaxing activities to maintain even better control over your anxieties.
What other stress management techniques have helped you stick to your medical weight loss doctor’s instructions? Tell us in the comments below!