Read what others have to say about Dr. Mike Olpin’s Stress Management Relaxation Exercises:

[divider top=”0″ style=”shadow”]Stress Relief - Relaxation Exercises

Power Nap

I love this exercise! Before I started the powernap for the first time, I was feeling really tensed up from the day. I felt good, but I felt really tired and ready to go to bed. I wasn’t quite as relaxed as I wanted to be. So, the powernap was a great opportunity for me to calm myself down before bed. I was a little apprehensive about the ordeal; I wondered what it would be like. During the powernap session, I felt so relaxed. It was surprising for me to feel this relaxed. I was glad that I was able to experience the powernap because I had no idea how relaxed I could be. I was actually only focusing on one thing at once, not a million things. It was so surprising that I actually started laughing! After the powernap exercise, I dropped right into bed and slept so well! I don’t think I have slept that well in a long time. The whole night was relatively undisturbed. I woke up easily, which was so awesome because lately it has been SO HARD for me to wake up! I think I’ll be doing this every night. Nikki R.

The first time I did the Power Nap exercise was when I was exhausted, and my kids had just gone down for a nap. I was very tired by mid-week, however; I had a million and one things that needed to be done. Therefore; I was not going to take a two-hour nap. To say the least, I was exhausted. I started the exercise. My whole body seemed to fall asleep except I was conscious of what was going on. As I continued the exercise, my body was numb. It was a totally awesome feeling. After I finished the exercise, I felt like I had just taken a nap. However, I didn’t have the groggy yawning feeling of being awakened from a long nap. I began to do the things that needed to be done around the house. About an hour later, I never even noticed that I had been tired earlier in the day. I felt recharged. I fell asleep easily that night because I had not napped so long in the day. The second time I did the Power Nap exercise was after getting home from work at eleven o’clock at night. I was thoroughly drained of all energy. After I was done with the exercise, I felt like a zombie. I walked straight into my room and melted into my bed. I slept exceptionally well. I didn’t have a problem falling asleep. When I was woken up by my children at seven o’clock the next morning, I wasn’t tired or ornery. I was ready for the day! It is amazing what those ten minutes can do for your body and mind.


Restful Breathing

The first time I did this (breathing exercise) I was VERY STRESSED. A lot went on this day. My mind was going about 100 miles a minute. During the breathing exercise my thoughts were very hard to control, but I began to relax and think of breathing. After completing the breathing exercise I felt really good. I had very little annoying thoughts in my brain. I was able to go right to sleep. Upon waking I realized my normal tension was not there. Normally I have restless sleeps – that night I did not. That was a nice feeling. 2nd time: This night I was real tired. I felt overworked. I did not have as much stress going on at this moment – this could be as a result of doing the other breathing exercises. During the exercise I felt very relaxed and was able to keep any thoughts coming in at bay. I was very aware of my breathing. Immediately afterward my feelings were of inner peace and relaxation. I was ready to hit the sheets, so I did. When I woke up I felt GRRRREAT-as Tony the Tiger would say-I had a great night sleep. I am going to do this one again with my husband. Yvonne A.

Before I began the breathing exercise for the first time, I was stressed out over an assignment for another class that I did not understand. During the exercise I noticed a tension in my shoulders and as the exercise continued I felt the tension slowly reduce until it was gone. After the exercise I felt energized and ready to attack the assignment again. This time I had a better understanding of the things in the assignment that I did not understand before and I got a better score on the quiz. The second time that I did the exercise was right before bed. I had a day that was stressful as usual and during this exercise I felt my body relax until I was ready to sleep. After I ended the exercise I went right to sleep. Usually I toss and turn until I get comfortable and then I fall asleep, but I went to sleep much faster using this exercise. Alicia B.

This breathing exercise was extremely relaxing and relieving. I was so exhilarated, and relaxed at the same time upon first completing it. Before the exercise, I was feeling tired from a long day, yet ready for another relaxation technique. It was amazing how easily I was able to feel the energy come into my body from simple, deep breathing. I noticed how my breath got deeper and more relaxed with each count down to zero. It was so awesome! Right after, I went right to bed, and slept well all night. I was up late that night, yet I woke up feeling great. It was an awesome technique. The second time I did it, it felt as though my breaths got even deeper and more relaxed. I found that I was able to fully concentrate on one thing. The first time, it was difficult to keep my mind from wandering, but the second time it was easier. Because I was able to fully concentrate on the air going in and out of my lungs, the second time was more natural. Before the exercise, I was pretty grouchy and tired. Yet, I didn’t have the desire to be all relaxed. But I did it anyway, and I was glad I did! Right after, I felt energized and happier. About an hour later, I still felt good. Things didn’t bother me as much as they had earlier in the day. Danielle O.

Autogenics

Before I began I was very awake and I didn‘t think that I would be able to do this exercise. This first time that I tried the autogenics exercise I thought it was going to be a waste of time because of how I felt at the time. I was really surprised that this exercise gave me the deepest relaxation that I think I have ever experienced and I felt like going to sleep. I felt so heavy and relaxed. I was very surprised of how this exercise turned out. An hour later I felt very good and completely rejuvenated. Jeff D.

Total relaxation is what I could call this one. I first did this at night with one of my roommates. Talk about melting into the floor! I had a hard time at first concentrating and feeling heavy. But it worked and man did my body ever feel good after we were finished. The second time I did it right before bed. I had a lot better experience with this, I was able to concentrate more and get more of the effect that I think I was supposed to have. I went to bed right when I got finished and once I was in bed my body didn’t want to move, it still felt heavy but so relaxed, I probably stayed in the same position all night long. I really enjoyed this technique. Linsey J.

This exercise has been my favorite so far. Before the autogenics exercise I felt normal. I didn’t feel tired, hungry, or stressed. During the exercise I felt myself relaxing so easily. My body felt so limp. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep. I woke up and felt like I was on top of the world. The second time doing it the same thing happened. I feel so good after I do that exercise. For the rest of the day I felt so easy going and that I could do anything. It just felt like I had so much energy. Jennifer M. Before I began the exercise the first time, I noticed that I had some tension in my lower back area. During the exercise I still noticed the tension in my lower back but my arms, and legs were starting to feel warm and heavy and I began to focus my attention on that instead of back. As I continued to focus on my body feeling warm and heavy the tension began to fade out of my back. Immediately after the exercise I was very relaxed and began to yawn but did not go to sleep. About an hour later I still was feeling tension in my lower back but it was not as intense as before I started the exercise. The second time performing the exercise I was able to feel the warmth and heaviness at a higher level. After doing the exercise the second time I was so relaxed that I went straight to bed. I woke the next morning with no stiffness and felt great. Mathis S.

Progressive Relaxation

I loved doing this relaxation exercise. Once again I had my friend do this one with me, and afterwards he couldn’t quit saying to me just how great that he felt. I could do nothing but agree. I never really thought that tensing your muscles and then releasing them would make them so relaxed. It was just a normal day like any other when I decided to do this exercise so I wasn’t really tense, but I could always use a little relaxation. During the whole thing I was just getting more and more relaxed. I really enjoyed this exercise and it put me in a good mood to just release that tension in my muscles. I think that this is one of the relaxation techniques that could be used any time or any place. I felt good afterwards and believe it or not this one didn’t put me to sleep. Shantelle T.

The progressive exercise was different and really interesting. It was so helpful for me to see the differences between tension and relaxation. I know my body is tense a lot and my muscles are always sore from football. But I never really take the time to feel what it is doing to my body and to feel the immediate difference between tension and relaxation. When I would tense up my hands into a fist, my hands and arms were so tight and as soon as I breathed out and released all of the tension, I felt overwhelming relaxation. I really noticed a difference in my face and neck as well. My neck is always tense and my face, especially my eyes and jaw muscles are constantly strained. When I would allow the relaxation to take over my body, I loved the feeling of heaviness in my muscles and the calm and peaceful feeling I had. This was a really good exercise. Tyler G.

My experience while doing the progressive relaxation was very nice. I did it once after work and once before bed. I found it to be most relaxing after work because I get tense while I am working. Obviously I was feeling very tense and tight when I started it after work. As I began the exercise the first muscles we tensed were the hands and forearms. After I did that it was like that part of my body was gone, sunk into the carpet. As I continued to do each muscle they seemed to disappear and after I had done every muscle it felt like I was sunk down into a giant pillow. The comparison of contracting and releasing makes your body seem so light. I felt totally relaxed and there was no tension whatsoever in my muscles. My favorite muscle group to do was my thigh area. After it was completed I felt completely released of the tension I had gathered throughout the day. When I did it before bed it made it very easy for me to fall right asleep. Every time I have done any of these (relaxation) exercises it has made it easier for me to fall asleep. I usually have a hard time falling asleep because I have so much on my mind. Carli S.

This was a very nice and relaxing exercise for me. I usually have tight muscles because of the work I am involved in doing daily. I use my muscles a lot. Before the video started I was tight from lifting weights. I really noticed a big deal of relaxation on my forearms and hands. They seemed to benefit the most. The other part that I enjoyed was the leg and buttocks relaxation part. That felt really good. When I did this exercise before I went to sleep I noticed that it was easier to find a comfortable position to sleep in. I usually have a difficult time doing this. Doing this exercise also helped me fall asleep fast and easily. I plan on using this exercise more often because it seems to help my body out a ton. Eric W.

Before I did the exercise the first time I was a little tense in my neck and feet. During the exercise it was amazing to feel the sensation. I felt totally relaxed and calm. Immediately after the exercise I felt like I had a long nap and an hour after the exercise no parts of my body felt tense, I felt refreshed and renewed. Before I did the exercise before I went to sleep, I wasn’t very tired, but I was tense all over. The exercise again made me feel very calm and I almost went to sleep before I finished the exercise. I slept like a rock the whole night, and woke up rejuvenated. Brittany H

Guided Imagery

Before my first attempt I was stressed! It was the end of the semester and I felt like I had a million school things to take care of not to mention all of my family/personal things that needed my attention. During the guided imagery it felt like a sanctuary! It was nice! I felt like I was on vacation. Immediately after the exercise, I had a complete stress level makeover, that is until I remembered my economics assignment was still due! An hour after the guided imagery, I was focused and able to easily understand my economics reading and assignment. This is by far one of my favorite stress relieving exercises. Before I started my second experience with guided imagery I felt out of control. I felt ready to rip my hair out. I swear my economics teacher is from another planet. I felt so overwhelmed and frustrated, almost to the point of tears. During the exercise, I felt relieved, although I was still anxious. As I was starting out I felt my mind and body begin to relax. I felt more centered and comfortable. Immediately after this second attempt I felt much better. I still felt frustrated but I definitely felt more in control. An hour after the exercise I felt better. I have the hardest time letting go of stress. I could still feel the anxiety lurking but I felt calmer and better able to handle the day and any situations that may come up. Jamie S.

Well, all I really have to say about this exercise was that it was pretty fun. The first time I did the guided imagery, it was Thanksgiving week and I was at my in-laws. Chaotic was the only word for the atmosphere. I slipped away for a little while and listened to the instructions for the guided imagery. At first, I had trouble imagining the scene that was being set. After a while my mind started to wander, but I gently led it back to what it was supposed to be on. When it was over, I felt absolutely marvelous, almost as if I had had a complete body massage. An hour later I was full of energy. I was even able to help do dishes by hand and cook some dinner. My next experience was pretty much the same except that I fell asleep during the exercise and didn’t wake up for about two hours. When I did wake up, I was a bundle of energy and felt very relaxed and well rested. Shalon M.

The first time I felt so overwhelmed, stressed out, and impatient. As I tried the imagery I became relaxed and calm. All the feelings I had before turned into peaceful, calm, relaxed feelings. I did this at night and the next morning I woke up happy, ready for the day, and relaxed. The second time was in the morning, so I felt happy, but a little nervous for the day ahead. During the video I became aware of the beautiful scenery. It relaxed me and made everything full of serenity. I felt joyful after and energized to proceed with the day. Ashley H. Before I did the guided imagery, I was feeling quite normal. During the session, I was very relaxed and felt very peaceful. After the exercise, I still had the relaxing feelings and I was calm. About an hour after the guided imagery, I was still feeling quite relaxed and was not having any stressful feelings. Before the second time I did the guided imagery, I was feeling normal again. During the exercise I was very calm and at peace in the beautiful mountains and lake. After the session, I was very relaxed and calm. About an hour after the session, I was feeling normal but I was not stressed by any means. Jadda H.

I love doing this relaxation exercise (guided imagery). I have found that it takes me to a place that I need to be sometimes. It can make you feel as if you are free from weight on your shoulders and screams in your life. I do this exercise when my son is napping. I find that when my son wakes up I can be a better parent to him. I have the energy and the restfulness to handle the stresses of being a mom. Brianne A.

 
[heading]Here are a few additional comments from people who tried the relaxation exercises[/heading]

After the exercises I feel really peaceful. I kind of describe it as a clean high. (Derek B.)

Very relaxing…hard to describe how good I feel. (Matt S.)

I always feel rejuvenated after I do one of these relaxation exercises. (Bryan S.)

After meditation, I felt very relaxed and awake. I had no tension and my worries were no longer in the foreground of my mind. I felt rejuvenated and full of energy. This (relaxation) technique is very positive for me. I plan to keep doing it. (Eddie N.)

I felt less tired. I felt refreshed. My eyes were no longer tired and my body felt like it was humming. I don’t know how else to explain it. I definitely felt better. (Karri B.)

All weekend long I had a tension headache. I even went to the doctor and this was his diagnosis. I was in a lot of pain and so I tried one of the relaxation techniques rather than take the four Advil four times a day prescribed by the doctor. The exercise was very productive. It relieved most of the tension I was feeling in my neck and shoulders. After the first time (trying the exercise) I was very relaxed and each of the two times after this the tension seemed to go away. Prior to this, I would go to the doctor and try several doses of Tylenol and acetaminophen. There was no relief after any of the medication was taken. I truly believe the relaxation exercise helped with my tension headache. (Billie Jo P.)

After doing the relaxation exercise I felt as if I was ready to do something. I was up and ready to go. I felt almost wired. I was also in a better mood. Before, I felt as if I was biting people’s heads off. The day went by a lot smoother after this activity. This helped me a great deal. I am going to try to do this daily. (Leslie S.)

(After doing the relaxation exercise) … my body feels very relaxed. And very awake. I feel more alert. (Scott J.)

Relaxed with my plants. My whole day was very calm, beautiful and enjoyable. My household is starting to benefit by my taking time for myself. This is a good thing. I am starting to look at a lot of things in my life differently. My reactions are not so compulsive. I seem to have more energy at the end of the day. (Kelly D.)

After relaxing I felt completely relaxed. I almost hated to get up and go deal with anything else. My mind was clear and the stress just seemed to disappear. (Joe S.)

This (relaxation) exercise is great! When I finished, I felt wonderful. My friend and I went mountain bike riding. I had so much energy. We biked about 8 miles and it didn’t phase me. This exercise is great and I plan on using it weekly and I recommend it to anyone who has not tried it. (Tee W.)

After doing the exercise I always feel more relaxed and more at ease. Once, I even started with a headache and it was gone at the end of it. Overall, I really enjoy meditation and plan to make it an everyday event. (Russ H.)

After doing the relaxation exercise, I felt rested and more in tune with the world. I had more energy. (Jonathon W.)

After doing the relaxation exercise, I felt very relaxed and I wasn’t tired when I came out of it. A couple hours later, I still felt relaxed and still had the energy to go and I was no longer tired. (Willy A.)

After the relaxation exercises I felt that I was very relaxed and had very little stress in my body. (Kevin G.)

Additional Resources

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