This generalized anxiety relaxation script will allow you to experience the relaxation response, a freeing from tension, and a state of physical and mental calm by focusing on breathing, observing the state of your body, relaxing tense muscles, and meditating to calm your thoughts.
Doing this kind of relaxation regularly will help you to feel generally calmer, more relaxed, and better able to withstand stress.
Anxiety is the name used to describe the experience of the body’s fight or flight response. There are varying degrees of anxiety, from general worrying and tension… all the way to full blown panic attacks. We all experience anxiety from time to time, and this is normal. When anxiety starts to happen frequently it can be problematic.
Fortunately, anxiety can be reduced using relaxation. In addition, regular relaxation has a protective effect against stress and anxiety.
Start by getting comfortable, finding a position seated or lying down where you can relax. Place your arms at your sides, and keep your legs uncrossed to improve blood flow.
As you begin this generalized anxiety relaxation, you might want to close your eyes, or focus your gaze on one spot in the room.
Take a deep breath in…. filling your lungs…. and now breathe out, emptying your lungs completely.
Breathe in again, through your nose…. now blow the air out through your mouth.
Breathe in….. and out.
Keep breathing slowly like this, fully emptying your lungs with each breath.
Your deep breathing calms and relaxes you… allows your body to relax, to get just the right amount of oxygen, and to feel calm.
There is nothing you need to be doing right now, and no where you need to be, except here, relaxing, enjoying this time for yourself. Enjoying this generalized anxiety relaxation. You deserve this time, and need this time to function at your best. This time of relaxation will allow you to be as calm and healthy as possible. This generalized anxiety relaxation is productive, healthy time. You are looking after your health with this generalized anxiety relaxation.
As you continue to breathe slowly and comfortably, turn your attention to your body. Notice how you are feeling physically. Without trying to change anything, simply become aware of the sensations in your body.
All you need to do right now in this generalized anxiety relaxation is observe. However you are feeling right now is okay. None of your physical sensations are cause for concern, though some of them may be unpleasant because they are signs of built up stress. Just notice how you are feeling, noticing any signs of stress and tension you may have without trying to change anything right now.
Scan your body, beginning at the top of your head, and moving downward. Turn your attention to your head. Observe.
Moving your attention downward, to the level of your eyes, nose, chin…. down to your shoulders. Noticing each area, observing how your body feels.
Keep scanning, gradually moving down your body. How does your upper body feel? Take note of any areas of tension.
Nearing the center of your body, at the level of your stomach. How is this part of your body feeling? Keep observing your physical state. Continue to scan your body, moving the focus of your attention downwards.
Reaching the level of your hips… keep observing and moving your attention down. How does this part of your body feel? Notice any tension, without trying to change anything.
Reaching the level of your knees… how does this area of your body feel? Keep scanning…. all the way down to your feet.
Take a moment now to scan your whole body, noticing how your body feels as a whole. Where is your body the most tense?
Focus intently on this one area of tension…. and imagine the muscles here letting go of their hold, becoming loose, becoming relaxed…. letting the tension go. Releasing the tension bit by bit, until this area relaxes. Feel the tension softening… feel the muscles as they loosen, lengthen…. warming and relaxing, as if they are melting into relaxation.
Notice where your body is the most relaxed. How does the relaxation feel? Imagine that this relaxation is warm and tingly, moving…. growing… spreading to relax other parts of your body.
Feel your body becoming more relaxed as the area of relaxation grows as you continue this generalized anxiety relaxation.
Imagine that the air you are breathing is pure relaxation. Imagine that the oxygen you breathe in is relaxation, and the carbon dioxide you breathe out is tension. The air exchange is an efficient relaxation system. Feel the relaxation as you take it in through your nose and relax your body, adding to the area of relaxation already there. Expel your body’s tension, breathing it out through your mouth.
Continue to exchange tension and relaxation. Continue the generalized anxiety relaxation exercise.
Feel the relaxed area getting bigger as you breathe more and more relaxation into your body. Breathe out tension and feel the tension getting smaller.
Breathe in relaxation, and breathe out tension.
Each breath in adds to the relaxation, a full breath more of relaxation is added to your body. Each breath out removes any tension.
Keep breathing in relaxation, and breathing out tension. More and more relaxed with each breath.
Soon the areas of tension are very small. Your breathing can eliminate them entirely. Imagine breathing out any last bits of tension.
You are feeling so calm… so relaxed… breathing in relaxation, and breathing out relaxation.
Breathe in… relax
Breathe out… relax
Keep breathing smoothly and regularly, relaxing more and more deeply with each breath.
Now as you continue this generalized anxiety relaxation, scan your body again, noticing how your body feels now.
Imagine that your body is made of caramel, or chocolate, or some other solid that can be melted. Right now, your body is like a solid, hard piece of caramel.
Imagine a feeling of warmth, starting in your hands and feet, that starts to soften the caramel that your body is made of.
Soon your hands and feet are soft… getting softer and more liquid. The warmth spreads throughout your body… from your hands, up your arms. Feel your arms melting, softening. It is a pleasant feeling…. so relaxing.
Feel the warmth as it continues up from your feet, up your legs. Notice your legs softening, as if they are melting to a completely relaxed state.
Feel the core of your body as the warmth coming from your arms and legs meets at your stomach. Feel your core relaxing, melting.
Imagine that your whole body is very soft…. like caramel that has melted and is soft and stretchy.
Simply rest, enjoying this relaxation. Floating…. relaxing.
Focus now on your thoughts. Notice your calm thoughts. Enjoying this relaxation. Enjoying this generalized anxiety relaxation exercise.
See how you can focus your thinking to a state of complete calm by meditating on a single word. Meditate now on the word “relax” by mentally saying “relax” each time you breathe in, and each time you breathe out.
Breathe in, “relax”
Breathe out, “relax”
Continue breathing, saying in your mind “relax” with each breath in and again with each breath out. Continue this generalized anxiety relaxation.
It is normal for your thoughts to wander, and as they do, just focus again on the word “relax.” Keep repeating this word as you enjoy the generalized anxiety relaxation exercise.
Focus all of your attention on simply repeating the word “relax.”
Keep repeating this word, noticing how you are completely relaxed and calm, drifting in a pleasant state of relaxation.
Now, simply allow your mind to drift. You don’t need to focus on anything at all. Just rest, and relax, enjoying this pleasant state you are in.
Keep relaxing for a while longer, enjoying this pleasant, calm feeling. Continue the generalized anxiety relaxation exercise. You can relax any time you need to take a break. This feeling of calm that you have right now can stay with you even after you are fully awake and alert. You can keep with you the feeling of calm and confidence, and your muscles can remain relaxed. You can feel calm as you go about the activities of your life, even when you encounter stress.
In fact, the next time you start to feel anxious, you might even remember this moment of relaxation and find that the anxiety goes away. You may even keep a relaxed feeling with you as you encounter stressful situations. Imagine the confidence and composure you will have as you face stressors while still feeling calm.
Take another deep breath in, breathing in relaxation…. and breathe out, emptying your lungs completely.
Keep breathing smoothly and calmly. You can breathe like this any time, drawing in relaxation, and breathing out the tension that accumulates through the day. Every day, your breathing can relax you, making you strong and resilient, able to cope with the stresses that come your way.
Now it is time to finish this generalized anxiety relaxation exercise. Your energy can increase until you are fully awake, alert, and energetic.
Take a moment to wake up your body and mind so you can return to your usual activities.
Rub your hands together, feeling your hands and arms waking up.
Move your feet up and down, waking up your feet and legs.
Sit quietly for a moment with your eyes open, reorienting yourself to your surroundings.
Stretch if you want to, allowing your body to reawaken fully.
When you are fully awake and alert, you can return to your usual activities, feeling wonderful.