Watch video: Feeling stressed out? Try this relaxation exercise.

December 28, 2022 Swedish Behavioral Health Team

In this article: 

  • A Swedish expert guides us through an anxiety-reducing exercise called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).

  • PMR can help us recognize the difference between a tense muscle and a relaxed muscle.

  • PMR is particularly useful in improving the quality of our sleep.   

If you're feeling stressed out or struggling with rest or sleep, letting go of the physical tension you carry in your body can help.

Jenni O'Donnell, Psy.D., medical director for behavioral health integration at Swedish, guides us through an anxiety-reducing exercise called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), a technique involving alternating tension and relaxation all the body's major muscle groups. 

Practicing PMR can help us recognize how relaxed muscles feel different from tense muscles. It can also give us a better sense of control over our anxiety response. The technique helps focus on relaxation, which is particularly useful for getting better quality, more restful sleep. 

Learn more and find a provider

For more information about comprehensive behavioral healthcare at Swedish, contact Swedish Behavioral Health and Wellbeing

Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction, and follow up as needed. If you need to find a provider, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Related resources

Tap into gratitude with these tips from a Swedish expert

Take a moment to breathe. A Swedish expert shares some mindfulness guidance

Don't sleep on the importance of a bedtime routine

Mental health resources and articles roundup 

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

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About the Author

Whether it's stress, anxiety, dementia, addiction or any number of life events that impede our ability to function, mental health is a topic that impacts nearly everyone. The Swedish Behavioral Health Team is committed to offering every-day tips and clinical advice to help you and your loved ones navigate mental health conditions.

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