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Marine Parents a Place to Connect and Share

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Relieving Stress with Relaxation Techniques
Courtesy of

Feeling tense is a classic symptom of stress. With practice, you'll learn to become aware of tension buildup early and be able to relax in a few minutes. You can even practice relaxation at your desk.

Progressive relaxation

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight, or lie down.
  • First, tense one major muscle group in your body (face, shoulders, arms, chest, back, stomach, buttocks, legs, or feet).
  • Hold for a few seconds, then release the tension.
  • Notice the contrast between the tight and relaxed muscle.
  • Feel the warmth as blood flow increases into the relaxed area.
  • Choose a second muscle group, and repeat the same process.
  • Go through all the muscle groups in your body from head to foot.
  • You can immediately feel and appreciate the relaxed feeling in your body.
  • After practicing this technique several times, you'll learn to relax more deeply.

Deep Breathing
When you're tense, your breathing is shallow, and your stomach muscles are tight. You can practice deep, abdominal breathing to help break this tension:

  • Slowly breathe in, filling your lungs as much as possible.
  • Let your stomach relax and expand.
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds.
  • Then slowly exhale until your lungs feel empty.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

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