Progressive Muscle Relaxation: A Simple Method to Quiet Your Mind
What can you do when your mind is spinning and your thoughts just won’t stop? Today we’re offering a guided relaxation exercise by psychologists Dr. Colleen Carney and Dr. Rachel Mamber. This guided progressive muscle relaxation will teach you to relax muscles, release tension and experience a quiet mind.
Today we’re sharing an excerpt from the audiobook Goodnight Mind: Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night’s Sleep. Written by psychologists and sleep experts Dr. Colleen Carney and Dr. Rachel Mamber, this audiobook addresses the effects of rumination—or having an overactive brain—on your ability to sleep well. It contains helpful exercises and insights into how you can better manage your thoughts at bedtime, and finally get some sleep.
What’s in this episode?
In this excerpt, Drs. Colleen Carney and Rachel Mamber share a guided relaxation technique called progressive muscle relaxation. This soothing exercise can help you relax before sleep, or any time you want to release tension from the body and experience a quiet mind.
Colleen E. Carney, PhD, co-author of the audiobook Goodnight Mind, is associate professor and director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. She is conducting research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, on treating insomnia in people with depression.
Rachel Manber, PhD, co-author of the audiobook Goodnight Mind, is professor at Stanford University and director of the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. She has treated hundreds of patients with insomnia, many of whom also have other medical or psychiatric disorders, and has trained physicians, psychologists, and nurses to treat insomnia without medication.
Relaxation strategies must be learned and practiced ahead of time, so that when you are in an anxious state, you are able to simply pull the rip cord of your relaxation parachute and begin to relax. Commit to practicing a relaxation strategy daily for several weeks, and you will be amazed by the result.