Stress Management When You Have Cancer - Topic Overview
You can use a prerecorded audiotape to help you go through all the
muscle groups, or you can do it by just tensing and relaxing each muscle group.
Choose a place where you can lie down on your back and stretch out comfortably,
such as a carpeted floor. Tense each muscle group for 4 to 10 seconds (hard but
not to the point of cramping), then give yourself 10 to 20 seconds to release
it and relax.
Now and then take the time to review all the muscle groups. Then relax each one a little more each time you use this method.
How to tense each muscle group
- Hands: Clench them.
- Wrists and
forearms: Extend them and bend the hands back at the wrist.
and upper arms: Clench your hands into fists, bend your arms at the elbows, and
flex your biceps.
- Shoulders: Shrug them.
Wrinkle it into a deep frown.
- Around the eyes and bridge of the
nose: Close your eyes as tightly as possible. (Remove contact lenses before
beginning the exercise.)
- Cheeks and jaws: Grin from ear to
- Around the mouth: Press your lips together tightly. (Check
your facial area for tension.)
- Back of the neck: Press your head
- Front of the neck: Touch your chin to your chest. (Check
your neck and head for tension.)
- Chest: Take a deep breath and hold
it, then exhale.
- Back: Arch your back up and away from the
- Stomach: Suck it into a tight knot. (Check your chest and
stomach for tension.)
- Hips and buttocks: Press the buttocks
- Thighs: Clench them hard.
- Lower legs:
Point your toes toward your face, as if trying to bring the toes up to touch
your head. Then point your toes away and curl them downward at the same time.
(Check the area from your waist down for tension.)
When you are finished, return to alertness by counting backwards
from 5 to 1.