What is “progressive muscle relaxation”?

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a way to relieve the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety that show up as tense, aching muscles. This mind-body practice helps you consciously release muscle tension so you can function throughout your day and relax during downtime. Using PMR, you learn to release tension and develop deep relaxation by actively tensing and then relaxing the muscles throughout your body. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and breathe slowly. Then, starting with your toes and feet, squeeze the muscles tightly, count to 5, and relax. Repeat 2 more times. Then do the same for all the other muscles in your body, progressing through your legs, abdomen, torso, arms, shoulders, and neck. The outcome: You can train your body to relax on command.