The Stress Management Institute Stress Management Consultants & Trainers since 1995 Stress Management Training Courses by Distance Learning

Passive Progressive Relaxation

This is a Stress Management Exercise in Passive Progressive Muscular Relaxation..........

You should be sitting or lying comfortably with your arms and legs uncrossed and your hands at rest.........

Allow your eyes to close..........

And first of all I want you to listen. Listen to the sounds. My voice is one of the sounds..........And if your attention wanders, that's all right, just bring it back gently to the sounds..........

And extend your awareness to your thoughts. Your thoughts are a bit like the sounds, in that they come and they go. You may be thinking in words, you may be thinking in pictures, you may be thinking in a mixture of the two..........and..........imagine you can see your thoughts passing by on a large screen, like the credits after a film, and just watch each thought go by, and do this now..........

And now let go of the images on the screen, and continue to be aware of your thoughts passing..........And so, you have your attention on the sounds and on your thoughts..........

And now extend your attention to your body. Your body is you, it's your way of being in the world, and just notice if any parts of your body are more relaxed than others, and notice if your body is holding any tension. And keep your attention inside your body. It may wander to your thoughts or to the sounds. That's all right, just bring it back gently to your body.........

And take a deep breath as you begin to relax. You can relax as much or as little as you want to..........And first of all, relax the muscles of your face. Imagine that a mask is slipping off and all the muscles of your face are relaxing.........and all the muscles just behind your face are relaxing..........and you're letting go of any smiles, any frowns you've been wearing, and you're letting go of any fixed expressions..........and you're relaxing your face until your face is communicating nothing very particular at all.......... it's just being...........
And allow that relaxation to spread into your scalp..........and down into your neck..........And as each muscle relaxes you can feel that part of your body becoming just a little bit heavier than usual. So that you feel heavier and heavier and more and more relaxed.

And allow the relaxation to spread into your throat, relaxing that part of you that makes a sound out there in the world, let that part of you become silent and still for a while..........

And allow the relaxation to spread into your shoulders..........and down your arms and to your elbows, forearms, wrists and hands and fingers.........there is nothing that your hands have to do right now..........And your shoulders, arms and hands feel heavier and heavier and more and more relaxed..........

And allow the relaxation to spread down into your chest..........breathing easily and calmly now..........Relaxation spreading down into the muscles of your stomach and lower abdomen. Relaxation spreading all the way down your spine..........from your neck and upper back to your lower back and buttocks. Feeling heavier and heavier and more and more relaxed..........

And allow the relaxation to spread down into your thighs.........relaxation spreading into your knees and calves..........Feeling heavier and heavier and more and more relaxed..........and allow the relaxation to spread into your ankles and into the muscles of your feet. Feel your legs and feet becoming heavier and heavier and more and more relaxed..........

And there is nothing that any part of your body needs to do right now..........and you can leave your body resting from the top of your head to the tips of your toes..........and all the while you are resting your body is going deeper and deeper into relaxation..........and you are still aware of the sounds..........and still aware of your thoughts..........and aware of your
body resting, and it doesn't matter whether you are resting lightly or deeply, because as you rest, two things are happening automatically, they happen to everyone.

And the first is that your mind and your body are busy in this rest releasing tension, that goes on automatically, you don't have to think about it..........so when you come up out of your rest, you will feel the absence of tension, and in it's place, calmness and relaxation.........

And the second thing that is happening automatically is that your mind and your body are learning to relax..........so as well as being able to rest now, you will be able to keep this relaxation with you..........because you are learning how to do it right now..........
And now imagine that you're standing on a hill, and let this hill be somewhere quite beautiful..........it can be a real place or an imaginary place, it doesn't matter..........you're standing on the top of a hill..........and you're standing in the kind of weather that you like, and you're not carrying anything so that you feel very free.........And imagine what you would be able to see from the top of this hill, the colours..........take a look up at the sky..........

And in a few moments, I'll ask you to walk down the hill, you'll find it very easy, and as you walk down I'll count down from ten to one, and with each number than I say you will become more and more relaxed. And start walking down the hill now..........Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One..........

And the place at the bottom of the hill is a very safe and special place, you can make it look just as you want to...........take a look around you, smell the smells, hear the sounds, look at the ground beneath your feet, and see what's growing..........And take a moment now to explore this place.........

And this place is your place, where you can feel completely calm and completely relaxed. And you can return to this place any time you want to and you can experience the calmness and relaxation that you feel now.

And you can take this calmness and relaxation with you into your daily life. Any time you want to feel more relaxed, just count yourself down from ten to one and you will feel calm and relaxed..........

And now let go of the image of this place and bring yourself back to here and to now, to the sounds, to your thoughts, to your body, and let yourself just be in the present moment for a while..........

And in a moment I'm going to count to five, and as I count, bring yourself gently out of your rest so that when I reach five you can open your eyes, feeling relaxed and refreshed..........

One, Two, Three, Four, Five.........Open your eyes now..........


Session One Stress Management Training Forms

Stress Management Training Form S1.a

Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale

Name...........................................................................................................................................

LIFE EVENT
Death of a Spouse - 100
Divorce - 73
Marital Separation - 65
Prison Term - 63
Death of a close family member -63
Personal injury or illness - 53
Marriage - 50
Sacked from work - 47
Marital Reconciliation - 45
Retirement - 45
Change in family member's health - 44
Pregnancy - 40
Sex difficulties - 39
Addition to family - 39
Business Readjustment - 39
Change in Financial Status - 38
Death of a Close Friend - 37
Change to a different type of work - 36
Change in number of marital arguments - 36
Mortgage or large loan - 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan - 30
Change in work responsibilities - 29
Son or daughter leaving home - 29
Trouble with in-laws - 29
Outstanding personal achievement - 28
Spouse begins or stops work - 26
Starting or finishing education - 26
Change in living conditions - 25
Revision of personal habits -24
Trouble with the boss - 23
Change in work hours or conditions - 20
Change in residence - 20
Change in educational establishment - 20
Change in church activities - 19
Change in social activities 18
Small mortgage or loan - 17
Change in sleeping habits - 16
Change in number of family gatherings - 15
Change in eating habits - 15
Holiday - 13
Minor Breach of the law - 11

TOTAL:


Stress Management Training Form S1.a

Holmes and Rahe Scale/Trainer's Answer Sheet
Below 60: The Client's life has been unusually free from stress recently.

60 - 80: The Client has had a normal amount of stress recently. This score is average for the ordinary life style.

80 - 100: The stress in the Client's life is a little high, maybe because of one recent event.

Over 100: Pressures and stresses are piling up and the Client is under serious stress. They need to begin to look at ways to reduce stress.

Over 200: This is a very high score and the Client is under serious stress, so much so that they could be at risk of developing a stress-related illness. Measures should be taken to reduce the stresses in their life.

Over 300: A serious score, the Client is at risk of developing a stress-related illness. Urgent measures should be taken to reduce stress.

Stress Management Training Form S1.b
Coopers Life Stress inventory

Name...................................................................................................................................................

Cooper's Life Stress Inventory can help measure life change and susceptibility to stress related illness. Circle each event which has taken place in the last two years. Then circle a number on the scale which describes how upsetting the event was to you, e.g.. 10 for the death of a husband or wife.

Event
Bought house - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sold house - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Moved house - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Major house renovation - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Separation from loved one - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
End of relationship - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Got engaged - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Got married - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Marital problem - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Awaiting divorce - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Divorce - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Child started school/nursery - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Increased care for elderly or ill person - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Problems with relatives - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Problems with friends/neighbours - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Pet-related problems - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Work-related problems - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Change in nature of work - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Threat of redundancy - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Changed job - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Made redundant - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Unemployed - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Retired - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Increased or new bank loan/mortgage - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Financial difficulty - -1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Legal problem - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Insurance problem - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Emotional or physical illness of close family or relative - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Serious illness of close family or requiring hospitalisation - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Surgical operation experienced by family member or relative - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Death of a partner - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Death of family member or relative - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Death of a close friend - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Emotional or physical illness of yourself - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Serious illness requiring your own hospitalisation - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Surgical operation on yourself - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Pregnancy - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Birth of a baby - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Birth of a grandchild - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Family member left home - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Difficult relationship with children - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Difficult relationship with parents - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Low stress - 1
Medium Stress - 50
High Stress - 100

Stress Management Training Form S1.d


How would you describe the problem?

How long have you had the problem?

How did the problem first start?

What does your Doctor say about the problem?

Have you had any treatment in the past?

Have you tried to overcome the problem in the past?

Have you had any success in overcoming the problem?

Do you suffer from unpleasant thoughts that you feel are beyond your control?

Do you feel compelled to do certain actions to control these thoughts?

Do you work outside the home?

Do you live alone or with family or friends?

Have your parents or brothers/sisters ever suffered from any psychological problems?

What are your hobbies/Social life?

Do you smoke? (and how many a day, for how many years, and in what circumstances)?

Do you drink alcohol? (and how much a week, for how many years and in what circumstances)?

Are you taking any medication?

How is your physical health?

What are your most serious symptoms? How do they affect your life at the present time?

Stress Management Training Handout

Understanding Stress

Stress is a normal part of life. If we are in a threatening situation, we respond with the Fight or Flight Syndrome, which is an instinctual reaction to danger. All animals respond automatically when they feel under threat. However, sometimes this response is triggered by a situation that is stressful, but not life-threatening. It can be set off by feelings, ideas, memories and expectations, and for many people stress can become a normal reaction to many life situations.

Fight or Flight

The heartbeat increases to pump blood with greater speed, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and clearing away waste products.
As the heartbeat increases the blood pressure rises.
Adrenaline and other hormones are released into the blood.
The liver releases stored sugar for more energy.
The pupils dilate to let in more light.
All the senses work more efficiently.
Muscles tense for movement.
Blood flow is constricted to hands and feet and they get cold
The body sweats to cool itself.

In a situation which is not life-threatening, these physical changes may be experienced as extremely unpleasant, causing palpitations, pain in the muscles resulting from excessive tension, insomnia, breathlessness, numbness, tingling, dizziness, sickness, fainting, headaches, indigestion, diarrhoea, fatigue, chest pains, blurred vision, nausea and shaking, to name but a few possible symptoms. It is possible to change our response to many everyday events from Fight or Flight to Relaxation, which is the physical opposite to the Fight or Flight syndrome. Practise your first Stress Management Relaxation Exercise, and see how much better you feel.


Stress Management Training Daily Relaxation Log

Name......................................................................................................................................

Fill in the Log every day, both before and after doing your Relaxation Exercise. Circle the number that shows how you felt during the day, and the number that shows how you felt after practising the Relaxation Exercise.

DAY 1 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense

DAY 2 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense

DAY 3 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense

DAY 4 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense

DAY 5 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense

DAY 6 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense

DAY 7 - TODAY I FELT - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
AFTER RELAXING I FEEL - Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tense
Week ending: / /


Stress Management Trainers Record Log for Individual Clients

Client's Name:..............................................................................................................................

Description of the Individual (All Sessions)

The Nature of the Problem (Session 1)

The Effects of the Problem (Session 1)

Past attempts to work on the Problem (Session 1)

Duration of the Problem (Session 1)

Contract (Session 1)

Holmes and Rahe Scale (Session 1)

Subjective Level of Stress (Session 2)

Subjective Measure of Change (Session 2)

Three things contributing most to stress at present (Session 2)

Coping with Stress - Score and Strengths and Weaknesses (Session 2)

Response to Therapeutic Information Giving (All Sessions)

Response to Muscular Relaxation Training (Sessions 1 and 2)

Personality Type (Session 3)

Breaths per Minute (Session 3)

Depression Questionnaire Score (Session 4)

Response to Deep Breathing and Breath Control (Sessions 3 and 5)

Response to 'Triggers' (Session 5
)
Response to Autogenic Training (Session 6)

Response to Cognitive Techniques (Sessions 4, 6 and 7)

Response to Positive thinking (Session 7)

Lifestyle Changes (Session 8)

Any Changes in Subjective Level of Stress (Session 8)

Did the Client achieve the Subjective Measure of Change (Session 8)

Three things contributing most to stress now (Session 8)

Client's Evaluation of the Training (Session 8)

Results of the Daily Relaxation Log (All Sessions)

Results of the Breathing Log (Sessions 3 - 7)

Summary



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