Relaxation for Anxiety in the Stomach
This relaxation script focuses on relieving the symptoms of anxiety in the stomach. Anxiety symptoms in the belly can include nausea, butterflies, pain, tightness, digestive problems, and a general feeling of unease. This script will help to reduce anxiety and relieve these uncomfortable symptoms.
Begin by getting into a comfortable position. You may want to sit or lie down, with your hands resting in your lap or at your sides.
It is very uncomfortable to experience anxiety in the stomach. The feeling will pass, and soon you will be feeling calm and relaxed. Trust that the discomfort you are experiencing right now is not going to last long.
Anxiety in the stomach can feel uncomfortable...even painful. Some people report a feeling of dread or unease, or feel like their stomachs are jumping.
These symptoms arise because of the fight-or-flight response. Your body is reacting with anxiety and getting ready to fight or run away...but right now, you are not in danger. You are safe, and you will soon feel better.
During this relaxation exercise, I'll describe focusing on the anxiety, and then focusing on relaxation and distracting yourself from the anxiety. You will alternate between these two areas of focus and find that the anxiety in the stomach goes away.
Let's start by relaxing a little. Take a deep breath...now breathe out, emptying your lungs completely.
Breathe in slowly...and out slowly.
Breathe in...and out.
Keep breathing slowly like this...calm, gentle breaths.
You can relax your muscles by first tightening a muscle group, and then relaxing the muscles.
Raise your shoulders toward your ears. Then, let your shoulders relax...dropping into a comfortable, loose position, and feel yourself sinking into the surface you are on.
Allow your jaw to drop slightly, letting the muscles of your face and jaw become loose and relaxed.
Wiggle your toes once or twice and feel your feet and legs relaxing.
Gently open and close your hands once... and again...close your hands into fists...holding tension in your muscles...and then release, relaxing your hands and arms.
Take a deep breath in, feeling the tension in your chest and stomach as you hold that breath...
And allow your chest and stomach to relax as the breath escapes slowly.
Allow the muscles of your back to relax...from your neck...to your upper back...middle back...lower back...feeling your whole body relaxing.
Notice any areas of tension in your body, and relax those areas now.
Your body will continue to relax...deeper and deeper...loose...heavy...relaxed.
Now that you are beginning to become more relaxed, and your muscles are letting go of tension, let's focus for a moment on the anxiety in the stomach.
Concentrate your attention on your stomach, and notice in detail what the anxiety feels like. Is it painful? Does it feel like butterflies in your stomach? Maybe it is a feeling of discomfort or fear. Notice what the anxiety feels like. Think of all the words you can to describe it.
In your mind, describe the anxiety.
Well done. Now you can relax again, and think of other things. Distract yourself by noticing your breathing. Count silently with me, breathing in to the count of 4, holding for a count of 3, and breathing out to the count of 5.
Breathe in...hold...breathe out...
Breathe in...and out...
Keep breathing slowly like this, focusing on breathing in relaxation, and breathing out tension.
Feel the tension leaving your body, bit by bit, with each breath.
Concentrate again on the feeling of anxiety in the stomach. Has it changed in any way? Describe in your mind how the anxiety in the stomach feels now.
Now you can use a powerful technique to get rid of the anxiety in the stomach. It seems like the opposite of what you want to do, but trust that this technique will relieve anxiety in the stomach. I'll talk you through it.
Concentrate on the anxiety. Allow yourself to experience the anxiety, without fighting it...without resisting it. Just go with the anxiety. Imagine that you are floating...just relaxing, and going where the current takes you. You are safe, even though this feels scary.
See that when you do not resist the anxiety, it cannot grow. In fact, the anxiety gets weaker. This thing you were fighting, that seemed so strong, is not strong at all. You are so much stronger than the feeling of anxiety. Relax into the anxiety, allowing yourself to experience the feelings you were resisting.
You are doing fine. Keep relaxing into the anxiety, not fighting it...just floating. No resistance. Relaxing...
Continue to focus on the anxiety in the stomach. What I'm about to ask you to do may seem strange, but you only need to try it for a few moments. See if you can intensify the symptoms you experience. That's right - try to make the anxiety in the stomach get bigger. You are stronger than the anxiety, however big it may be. I'll be here to talk to you though it...and you will be okay. This will not hurt you, and I'll help you relax when it's all done. Let's try it.
If you feel butterflies in your stomach, see if you can feel even more butterflies. If you feel tightness, make your stomach clench even tighter. If you feel nauseated, see if you can make the feeling of nausea grow even bigger. If you feel fear or heaviness, see if you can enlarge that feeling and make it even stronger.
Make the anxiety in the stomach bigger...as big as you can.
You may notice that nothing is happening...the anxiety isn't getting any bigger. In fact...it's getting smaller. Smaller and smaller...the harder you try to increase the feeling of anxiety in the stomach, the more it retreats from you...shrinking away.
It's like facing a monster to find out it is not a monster at all. It is a cartoon picture of a monster, and it can't hurt you. It seems funny...comical...not in any way threatening.
Feel the last bits of anxiety disappearing...and just allow it to do so. Just relax into this new feeling of mastery, this new feeling of calm. You faced the anxiety...and it did not hurt you. You went with the feeling...and it went away.
Feel a pleasant sensation in your stomach...it feels like a laugh...ready to come forward. A feeling of happiness...lightness...and joy.
You feel so free...so relaxed. You have conquered the feeling you were experiencing. Your stomach feels great.
Take a deep breath...and let it out with a sigh.
You did it.
Just relax...congratulating yourself for getting through this.
Whenever you feel anxiety in the stomach in the future, you know now that it cannot hurt you. You know how to go with the anxious feelings, without resisting, until they pass. It's like riding a wave. You know what to do.
Take a few moments now to reawaken your body and mind, returning to your usual level of alertness and awareness.
Stretch if you want to...getting ready to return to your day.
Sit quietly with your eyes open, reorienting yourself to your surroundings.
When you feel awake and alert, you can face the hours ahead, feeling confident and calm.
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