Relaxation techniques refocus your attention on something calming and increase awareness of your body, often bringing your attention to your breathing, muscles, or other body functions to relax and calm them.
Safety and precautions
Progressive muscle relaxation is generally considered safe, with few side effects, but a few cautions are noted:1Relaxation Techniques: What You Need To Know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. June 2021. Viewed October 5, 2021.
- Occasionally, people report negative experiences such as increased anxiety, intrusive thoughts, or fear of losing control.
- In rare cases, relaxation techniques might cause or worsen symptoms in people with epilepsy or certain psychiatric conditions, or with a history of abuse or trauma.
- People with heart disease should talk to their healthcare professionals before doing progressive muscle relaxation.