“Anchoring” is an effective way to train your body to quickly relax by making an association in your brain between a state of relaxation and touching a specific spot on your hand or wrist.
This script guides you to relax your body using progressive muscle relaxation, passive progressive relaxation, and stretching, then associate the relaxed state with a physical location on your hand so relaxation can be quickly elicited in the future.
In this relaxation script, I’ll describe using your right thumb as an anchor spot.
Once you are relaxed, you will use anchoring to associate the action of squeezing your right thumb (or your chosen anchoring spot) with a state of relaxation. Once this association is made, you will be able to trigger relaxation quickly, simply by squeezing your right thumb.
Practice this script several times to firmly engrain the association in your brain. After a few sessions, you will notice that the first time you squeeze your right thumb, you will become relaxed. When this occurs, you will know that the anchoring process has been successful, and you can then relax immediately just by squeezing your right thumb – any time, anywhere.
Choose a spot on your hand or wrist that will work as your “anchor.” Squeezing the right thumb is the anchor I will describe in this script. Whatever spot you choose, consistently use this same location.
Choose an anchor word as well. I’ll use “relax” as an example here, but you can use any word you like.
You can use this relaxation script to record your own audio or learn to relax.
Begin reading the anchoring relaxation script here.
Now it is time to relax and begin the process of anchoring.
Begin by stretching out your muscles gently. Raise your arms above your head as you breathe in…. and lower your arms to your sides as you exhale. Raise your arms and stretch as you breathe in again…. relax and lower them as you breathe out.
Roll your shoulders forward…. and back….. now relax. Let the tension drain away from your shoulders.
Now that you have moved your shoulders and arms to allow your body to begin to release the tension it has been holding, find a comfortable and relaxed position sitting or lying down.
Stretch the muscles of your face as you open your mouth wide and breathe in…. yawn if you wish…. stretch the muscles of your face…. and let your face slacken gently as you breathe out…. relax completely…. let your lower jaw hang loosely below your upper jaw, your teeth not touching.
Scan your body for areas of tension as you take another deep breath in. Feel the tension in your body as you hold that breath. Now let the tension go as you let the breath go.
Point your toes, stretching your legs. Release the muscles of your legs and relax. Now bring your feet upward, toward your shins, stretching the back of your legs. Release the stretch, relaxing your legs completely.
Let your legs become limp…. loose and relaxed….
Let your arms become relaxed and loose…..
Notice how your body feels.
Feel the relaxation flowing through your body. Notice that you can become even more relaxed…. wiggle your toes once or twice, and then allow your toes to be still and relaxed.
Feel the relaxation flowing…. spreading…. until your feet are relaxed as well.
Let the relaxation continue to your ankles. Feel how loose and relaxed your ankles feel.
Now allow the muscles of your lower legs to give up their hold. Feel the relaxation in your lower legs… calm….. relaxed…. heavy….. relaxed…..
Enjoy the feeling of relaxation as it continues to your knees….. then your upper legs…. feel your thighs legs relaxing and letting go…. your legs feel very heavy….. very heavy, and very relaxed…..
Feel the relaxation flowing…. allow your buttocks to relax…. your pelvic area…. and now your abdomen….. feel the muscles becoming loose and relaxed…. letting go of all the tension…. relaxed and heavy…..
Allow your lower back to relax….. feel the relaxation there as the muscles of your lower back give up their hold…. leaving nothing but relaxation… calm…. peaceful….
Let the relaxation continue to flow throughout your body, spreading now to the muscles of your sides….. feel your sides, abdomen, and chest gently moving in and out with each breath…. each breath making you even more relaxed…..
Allow the muscles of your sides to let go…. feel the relaxation filling your core…. relaxing your chest and stomach….. your middle back….. your upper back…..
The relaxation continues to increase…. pleasantly more and more relaxed…. deeper and deeper….. feel your shoulders relaxing…. your upper arms…. your elbows….
Feel your arms relaxing more and more…. becoming heavier and heavier… let the relaxation continue… spreading to your lower arms…. your wrists…. and your hands….
Your arms become completely limp and relaxed…. pleasant…. relaxed….
Let the relaxation continue from your lower back…. middle back…. and upper back…. to your neck…. the back of your neck and the front of your neck…. the back of your head… the top of your head…. your chin…. your face….. your jaws….
Feel your cheeks relaxing…. becoming completely loose and relaxed….. feel your lips relaxing…. becoming soft and relaxed….. let your tongue relax….. feel your nose relaxing… let your eyes relax….. your eyelids are very heavy and relaxed….. feel your eyebrows relaxing…. and your forehead becoming smooth, cool, and relaxed….
Your whole body is now fully relaxed…
Enjoy the relaxation you are experiencing… use your left thumb and two fingers to gently squeeze your right thumb, while at the same time saying silently “relax,” anchoring the feeling of relaxation to this spot.
Experience the feeling of deep relaxation. Notice your breathing. Notice how calm and regular your breathing is…. watch your breathing, without trying to change it in any way.
As you breathe in, say in your mind “I am relaxed.”
As you breathe out, mentally say “I am calm.”
I am relaxed
I am calm
I am relaxed
I am calm
Now squeeze your right thumb while mentally saying, “relax.” Let the anchoring occur as this spot becomes associated with the peaceful, relaxed state you are in.
Feel the relaxation deepen each time you squeeze your right thumb while saying “relax.”
Continue to allow the relaxation to flow throughout your body…. calm…. peaceful… relaxed…..
Memorize this feeling of relaxation. Notice how your body feels. Notice how calm you are. Create a picture in your mind of this state of relaxation. With this image in mind, gently squeeze your right thumb one more time while saying to yourself, “relax.” Feel the relaxation deepen.
This spot is an anchor to remind you of the relaxation you are feeling right now. In the future, when you squeeze your right thumb, the feelings and memories of how relaxed you are right now will fill your mind, and your body will automatically relax.
You are as relaxed as you want to be. Calm… Relaxed…..
Now it is time to start to become aware of your surroundings and return to your usual level of alertness. Keep your eyes closed for a few moments while your body reawakens.
You can use anchoring any time to cue your body to relax. Remember the pleasant, peaceful state of relaxation, and know that your anchor can remind you of the relaxation you experienced.
Count up, from one to five with me, becoming more alert with each number, until at 5 you are fully awake and alert.
1, becoming more awake, more alert, energetic….
2, feeling calm, awakening even more….
3, almost totally awake now, ready to resume with your day….
4, eyes open, stretch the muscles, becoming completely awake….
5, fully awake, fully alert, rested and ready to go.