Suggested web resources
- Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School Mindful net
- Mindful net
- Mindful Living Programs
- Mindfulness Meditation New York Collaborative
- Resources for Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (Rick Hanson)
- "The Benefits of Controlled Breathing" (NY Times article)
- Awareness of breath audio (English, 10 mins)
- Awareness of breath audio (French, 10 mins)
- Awareness of breath audio (Spanish, 10 mins)
- NYU Calming Corner (mp3 guided relaxation)
- Mayo Clinic Desk Stretches (Videos)
- One moment meditation cartoon
- How Mindfulness Empowers Us: An Animation Narrated by Sharon Salzberg
- Jon Kabat-Zinn with Oprah
- Jon Kabat-Zinn on the benefits of Meditation
- Researcher Rene Brown talks about the price of trying to be invulnerable
- Dr. Ron Siegal- Harvard Med School talks about positive psychology and mindfulness
- Managing Stress -cartoon about fight/flight compares stone age to modern age
- Stress Response: Savior to Killer-Stanford U- Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky
- Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower
- What Do We Have All Wrong About Meditation? Featuring Dan Harris
- Mindful Chair Yoga
- Brantley, Jeffrey (2007). Calming your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion can free you from Anxiety, Fear and Panic. California: New Harbinger Publications Inc.
- Cheung Lilian & Thich Nhat Hanh (2010). Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. HarperCollins Publishers.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2011). Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life. Colorado: Sounds True.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.
- Hanson, Rick. (2013). Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence. New York: Random House.
- Orsillo, S., Roemer, L., & Segal, Z.V. (2011). The Mindful Way through Anxiety: Break Free from Chronic Worry and Reclaim your Life. New York: Guilford Press.
- Siegal, R. D. (2009). The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems. New York: Guilford Press.
- Stahl, B. & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
- Verni, K. (2015). Happiness: The Mindful Way. DK Publishers.
- Williams, M., Teasdale, J., Segal, Z. & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2007). The mindful way through depression: Freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness. New York: Guilford Press.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Empirical studies have proven PMR to be effective for:
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
- Improving sleep
- Reducing stress & anxiety
- Managing physical pain
- Decreasing muscle tension
- Increasing body awareness
Links to guided exercises
- New York University Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Applied Performance Group Services Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise
- Therapist Aid Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise
- Emory University 'Take 5: Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise'
- Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise that relaxes your mind and body by progressively tensing and relaxing muscle groups throughout your entire body. You will tense each muscle group vigorously, but without straining, and then suddenly release the tension and feel the muscle relax. You will tense each muscle for about 5 seconds. If you have any pain or discomfort at any of the targeted muscle groups, feel free to omit that step. Throughout this exercise, you may visualize the muscles tensing and a wave of relaxation flowing over them as you release that tension. It is important that you keep breathing throughout the exercise.
- Now let’s begin... Begin by finding a comfortable position either sitting or lying down in a location where you will not be interrupted. Allow your attention to focus only on your body. If you begin to notice your mind wandering, bring it back to the muscle you are working on. Take a deep breath through your abdomen, hold for a few second, and exhale slowly. Again, as you breathe notice your stomach rising and your lungs filling with air. As you exhale, imagine the tension in your body being released and flowing out of your body. And again inhale and exhale. Feel your body already relaxing. As you go through each step, remember to keep breathing. Tighten the muscles in your forehead by raising your eyebrows as high as you can. Hold for about five seconds. And abruptly release feeling that tension fall away. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Now smile widely, feeling your mouth and cheeks tense. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release, appreciating the softness in your face. Pause for about 10 seconds. Next, tighten your eye muscles by squinting your eyelids tightly shut. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.
- Gently pull your head back as if to look at the ceiling. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release, feeling the tension melting away. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Now feel the weight of your relaxed head and neck sink. Breathe in…and out. In…and out. Let go of all the stress In…and out.Now, tightly, but without straining, clench your fists and hold this position until I say stop. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release. Pause for about 10 seconds. Now, flex your biceps. Feel that build-up of tension. You may even visualize that muscle tightening. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release, enjoying that feeling of limpness. Breath in...and out.
- Now tighten your triceps by extending your arms out and locking your elbows. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release. Pause for about 10 seconds. Now lift your shoulders up as if they could touch your ears. Hold for about 5 seconds, and quickly release, feeling their heaviness. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Tense your upper back by pulling your shoulders back trying to make your shoulder blades touch. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release. Pause for about 10 seconds. Now tighten the muscles in your stomach by sucking in. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Gently arch your lower back. Hold for about 5 seconds, relax. Pause for about 10 seconds. Feel the limpness in your upper body letting go of the tension and stress, hold for about 5 seconds, and relax. Tighten your buttocks. Hold for about 5 seconds…, release, imagine your hips falling loose. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Tighten your thighs by pressing your knees together, as if you were holding a penny between them. Hold for about 5 seconds…and release. Pause for about 10 seconds. Now flex your feet, pulling your toes towards you and feeling the tension in your calves. Hold for about 5 seconds, and relax, feel the weight of your legs sinking down. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Curl your toes under tensing your feet. Hold for about 5 seconds, release. Pause for about 10 seconds.
- Now imagine a wave of relaxation slowly spreading through your body beginning at your head and going all the way down to your feet. Feel the weight of your relaxed body. Breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…breathe out…
- [Adapted from The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, by Edmund J. Bourne]