1. Home

  2. Habit Directory

  3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Discover More Habits
Progressive Muscle Relaxation infographic
Pencil icon


Learning to relax your muscles can help you release stress, and becomes a tool for dealing with unexpected stressful situations.

Question mark icon

How to Do It

Sit down, then tense and relax the following series of muscles in the order written below. Tension should last around 5 seconds, while relaxation should take about 10 seconds for each muscle group [1], [6].

Right hand and forearm - making a fist

Right upper arm - bicep curl position

Left hand and forearm

Left upper arm

Forehead - raise, then relax eyebrows

Eyes and cheeks 

Mouth and jaw - open wide, then relax

Neck - look upward, be careful

Shoulders - bring towards ears

Back - bring your shoulder blades together

Chest and stomach - breathe in deeply

Hips/buttocks - squeeze together

Right upper thigh - just tense, no leg movement

Right lower leg - pull toes towards you, slowly to avoid cramps

Right foot - curl toes towards the ground

Left upper thigh

Left lower leg

Left foot

Finger up icon


  • Reduces anxiety [2]
  • Reduces symptoms of depression [3]
  • Improve focus and short term memory [4]
  • Reduces stress and cortisol levels [5]
  • Improve quality of sleep [7]
Clock icon

Time Commitment

10-15 minutes

Gear icon

Why it works

You may be holding tension in your body without knowing it. This can lead to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. By systematically tensing and relaxing your muscles, the tension is lost, thereby improving your mood [1], [3].

By reducing stress and anxiety, progressive muscle relaxation can improve your ability to focus and memorise while performing cognitive tasks, which improves your performance [4].

Progressive muscle relaxation helps you fall asleep more easily simply by making you relaxed [7].

Calendar icon

Suggested Frequency

Daily, and whenever stress reduction is needed.

Warning icon

Side Effects

Injury is possible in the case of neck tension. Do not overextend your neck. 

Cramps can occur during progressive muscle relaxation, especially in the lower leg region.

Finger up icon

Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Dr. Jamie Marich

Dr. Mark Doyle

Star icon


Keystone Habit

Clock icon

Suggested Time of Day

Night time for help with sleep, any other time if you do not want help getting to sleep.

Notes icon


  • Because progressive muscle relaxation can be performed in a seated position, you can do it nearly anywhere. 
  • Practicing progressive muscle relaxation when you are not stressed makes it easier to do in high-stress situations.
Gear icon

Related Products

Complement this habit with one of the TouchPoint wearable devices. They help you reduce your stress and anxiety very quickly.

Category icon


 Happiness  Stress  Sleep  Fitness
Discover More Habits

More Habits

Rate Habit

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Contact us





Thank you

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.