Originally designed for military pilots, these exercises will help you quickly relax in any situation. This relaxation technique was created for American pilots during World War II. Due to the constant stress, they could not relax and made mistakes during the flights. The military brought in renowned sports trainer Bud Winter to create a system of relaxation exercises. It was so successful that Winter used it after the war with the athletes. The point is to relax physically first and then mentally.
These exercises helped to cope with both combat stress and anxiety before the competition. They are applicable in everyday life, full of anxiety and chronic fatigue.
- Sit back in your chair and place your feet on the floor. Spread your knees, place your hands relaxed on your hips. Close your eyes and lower your chin to your chest.
- Breathe slowly, deeply, and regularly. Straighten the forehead wrinkles. Imagine the scalp relaxing. Relax your jaw and open your mouth a little like a fish. Now relax your facial muscles. Then the tongue and lips.
- Relax the muscles that control the eyes. Let them soften in the eye sockets. Breathe slowly.
- Drop your shoulders as low as possible. Even if it seems to you that they have already been omitted, lower them further. Do you feel the neck muscles relax? Try to relax them even more.
- Now relax your chest. Take a deep breath. Exhale and release all tension as you exhale. Let your ribcage fall. Imagine that you are a large and heavy lump on your chair, like a jellyfish. Breathe slowly. Release the tension with each exhalation.
- Go to your hands. Order your right forearm to relax, to go limp. Then hands and fingers. Your hand should feel like a dead weight on your hip. Repeat the process with your left hand. Breathe all the time slowly.
- The upper torso is now relaxed. You well. You are filled with a feeling of warmth and comfort.
- Move to the legs. Relax your right thigh muscles. Imagine flesh just hanging from bones. Repeat for the muscles in your calves, ankles, and feet. Tell yourself that there are no bones in your right leg at all. It’s just a sluggish, heavy load on the floor. Do the same with the left leg.
- Your entire body is now completely relaxed. Take three deep breaths and release the accumulated tension with each exhalation.
If you find it difficult to relax a part of your body, tense it first. After that, it is easier to feel how she relaxes.
After you have relaxed physically, it is enough for just ten seconds not to think about anything. Then you will fall asleep. The main thing is to stop the constant flow of thoughts. And do not go over regret, anxiety, and problems in my head.
It is especially important not to think about movement. Winter’s experiments with attaching electrodes to the body showed that muscles contract when we think about some action. This is confirmed by modern research.
When you want to fall asleep, think of something as calm as possible.
Winter offered three options. Choose one of them. If it doesn’t help, move on to the next one.
- Imagine it’s a warm spring day outside. You lie at the bottom of a boat that sways on the calm waters of the lake. You are looking at the blue sky overhead and the clouds floating on it. Don’t let other thoughts distract you. Concentrate on this picture and try to enjoy it.
- Imagine that you are lying in a huge black hammock. Darkness surrounds you.
- Repeat the words “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” for ten seconds. Try not to let other thoughts enter your head.
Also read: How to De-Stress from Work
After six weeks of training, 96% of the pilots learned to fall asleep in two minutes anywhere, including live-fire sounds. They managed to doze off even if they drank coffee, although caffeine makes it difficult to fall asleep.
These exercises are versatile. Use only the part for physical relaxation when under stress. And if you want to fall asleep, supplement them with mental relaxation techniques.
Try to fall asleep if you have five minutes in transport, in line, or during a work break. Even such a short rest will refresh you and make you more cheerful. Exercise is also suitable to fall asleep faster in the evening.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker