Learn To Relax
( Originally Published 1930 )
Lying on the back, "let go" of yourself, allow every muscle and nerve to relax thoroughly—just sink down—glad to rest.
Soft, melodious music is soothing and helpful. Even five minutes of complete relaxation, with rhythmic breathing, will readjust the entire body and give it an opportunity to become revitalized.
EXERCISE 3.—Lift the right leg and foot about eighteen inches from the bed and let it drop, allowing every muscle, sinew and nerve to flop—let go ! Breathe rhythmically.
Repeat with the left leg and foot. Relax the toes and feet too. Lift the right arm and hand to an angle of forty-five degrees and let it drop, perfectly limp and helpless to your side.
Repeat with the left arm and hand. Relax the wrist and fingers also.
Now lift the head forward and allow it to drop back—absolutely relaxed.
Next relax the facial muscles ; the eyes ; the tongue—lie absolutely inert quiet. Breathe softly, rhythmically, easily, and joyfully. Test yourself repeatedly until you can relax thoroughly at will.
The mental attitude is of paramount importance. Perfect physical relaxation cannot be attained without mental control and to the extent of permitting no thoughts or ideas of fear, worry, anxiety or alertness to possess the mind. As fast as such thoughts gain entrance they should be overcome or expelled and replaced immediately by happy, constructive thoughts. Repetition of the relaxation tests is sometimes necessary after one tiny little wrong thought has had possession of the mind for a moment. Even the slightest tenseness must be overcome completely. The "don't care" attitude of mind is a good way to relax, but better still is the complete transmutation of thought, changing fear into confidence, hate into love, anger into tolerance, and anxiety into peaceful trust in Absolute Law. In this way a balance of the "opposites" is acquired and one may tread the middle path of peace. Bodily restlessness marks our generation. When this is overcome, mental restlessness may also be overcome. It is a matter of desire for self-improvement and—will power.