Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Teachers

As a teacher you are constantly experiencing stress because of all the situations you have to deal with. Just think about the roles you consciously or subconsciously have to play in a typical week - a counsellor, a psychologist, a parent, a friend, a disciplinarian, a role model, a mentor. Phew! That’s enough to keep you on your toes.

Some situations can get so bad that you become emotionally involved and this is when the problems start. You start getting tense. Your breathing changes. Your mood changes. Your heart rate goes up. Your blood pressure increases. You become tense. You worry. In short your body is responding to these negative situation.

It can be the same even when you think you are relaxing at home watching TV. Have you ever been caught up in a scene from a film or drama or a football match and you suddenly realized you were emotionally involved in what was going on? Your muscles became tense without you realizing it.

If you are subject to constant stressful situations you will begin to experience some or all of the physical symptoms of stress.


  • Muscle tension. Muscle knots
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  • Stiff neck and shoulders
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  • Headaches
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  • Heart flutters
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  • Chest pain
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  • Digestive problems
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  • Sleep disturbances
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  • Weight gain or loss
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  • Asthma or shortness of breath
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  • Skin problems
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  • Fatigue
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  • Decreased sex drive
  • When this happens that’s when you need to look closely at deep relaxation techniques. How to relax your body physically and mentally will be crucial in overcoming the above symptoms. On this page we will deal with physical relaxation. If you would like information on mental relaxation please go to Stress Relief Breathing Technique where you will also find a link to our FREE Science of Breath Book.

    Have you ever had anyone tell you that you have knots in your back muscles? These are the muscles that react to stress the most. These muscles then put pressure on your neck, shoulder and head muscles. The more stress the worse the knots. It’s really no surprise when you get headaches, a stiff neck or trapped nerves.

    So, if we are constantly tensing up without realizing it we need to be constantly relaxing through disciplined physical exercise. This is where progressive muscle relaxation comes in.

    Here is the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique.

    Lie down somewhere comfortable wearing loose clothing.

    Starting with your feet and legs. Tense all the muscles in your feet and legs for a few seconds. Then relax. Tense them again. Then Relax. Twice is good enough at this stage. Don’t overdo it or push it so much that it becomes painful.

    Progressively do the same for each group of muscles going up your body.

  • Butt muscles
  • Stomach muscles
  • Chest and back muscles
  • Hands, arms and shoulder muscles
  • Face and head muscles
  • Every night for a few minutes in bed practice this progressive muscle technique. After a while you will begin to realize that it is toning your body. It is using muscles that you thought you didn’t have. It is toning you.

    During the day when you have a few minutes, do exactly the same but this time sitting in a chair. You can do it just as easily. You can actually do it whilst you are working.

    Once you realize the benefits of this technique you might want to go a step further and take up yoga. A fantastic way of keeping your whole body young and stress free.

    *The techniques and exercises on this site are for information only. Before starting any new physical exercise or breathing technique always consult your professional medical practitioner.

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