Relaxation Exercises

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Diaphragmatic Breathing

It is recommended that you begin with this relaxation exercise. In this introduction, you'll learn how to make relaxation exercises work effectively for you. Skills for proper breathing techniques are demonstrated. Presented by Dr. Allan Vives. Length: 9:13.
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Deep Breathing: I

Enjoy being guided step-by-step through deep breathing exercises that will give your lungs a pleasant, soothing workout. Learn to pace your breathing for maximum effect. Presented by Dr. Jodi Caldwell. Length: 6:43.
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Deep Breathing: II

In this meditative exercise you will learn to focus on your breathing and allow intrustive thoughts to melt away. This skill is good for taking a break during a busy day. Presented by Dr. Prentiss Price. Length: 7:28.
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Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Learn to recognize when and where you hold tension in your body and how to effectively release it, allowing yourself to fully relax. Presented by Dr. Tobin Lovell. Length: 8:39.
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Guided Imagery: The Beach

Take a mini-vacation as you are guided through the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of a pleasant walk along the beach. The "best" version of this audio file has sounds of the ocean in the background. Presented by Dr. Prentiss Price. Length: 6:06.
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Guided Imagery: The Forest

Let yourself be guided on a peaceful walk through a beautiful, lush forest near a trickling stream. The "best" version of this audio file has sounds of the forest in the background. Presented by Dr. Chuck Zanone. Length: 7:07.
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Relaxing Phrases

Sometimes it is helpful to repeat certain phrases to yourself in order to deepen your state of relaxation. A series of phrases are presented by Dr. Wendy Wolfe. Length: 6:14.
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Mindfulness Meditations

Introduction: Much of the emotional distress people experience is the result of thinking about upsetting things that have already happened or anticipating negative events that have yet to occur. Distressing emotions such as anger, anxiety, guilt, and sadness are much easier to bear if you only focus on the present - on each moment one at a time. These are exercises to increase your mindfulness of the present moment so that you can clear away thoughts about past and future events. These meditations are presented by Dr. Wendy Wolfe.
I. Just This Breath. (6:39) Get the script in a web page, or get the script in .pdf format

II. Increasing Awareness. (7:52) Get the script in a web page, or get the script in .pdf format

III. Sending Thoughts Away on Clouds. (6:51) Get the script in a web page, or get the script in .pdf format

IV. Sending Thoughts Away on Leaves. (7:09) Get the script in a web page, or get the script in .pdf format

V. Sorting Into Boxes. (7:17) Get the script in a web page, or get the script in .pdf format

Adapted from: Linehan, M. M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. NY: The Guilford Press.


References

Benson, H. The Relaxation Response. New York, NY: Morrow, 1975.
Bourne, E. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. 3rd. Edition. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2000.
Miller, L., and Smith, A. D., Rothstein, L. The Stress Solution: An Action Plan to Manage the Stress in Your Life. New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1994.