Step 1: First, choose a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Ideally you should select an area that is quiet and free from distractions. Consider unplugging the telephone, or even wearing a pair of earplugs in order to block out distracting noises.

If you find music relaxing, such as classical music or nature sounds then put that on too. When you fall into a relaxed state, you may end up drifting off to sleep, so choose somewhere safe to relax—a bubble bath, for example, may not be a wise idea!

Step 2: Once you feel comfortable, simply take a few slow deep breaths in through the nose and then slowly out through the mouth. Concentrate on your breathing by counting down from ten with each breath in and out. Feel your entire body sink and relax as you breath out.

Step 3: Think to yourself, or say aloud: “As I count down from ten my entire body is becoming more and more relaxed.” Then breathe in for four seconds, hold briefly and then exhale for seven seconds. Continue to do this for a minute or so.

Step 4: Next, say to yourself, “As I count down from ten I will feel every part of my body becoming heavier and heavier, so heavy that I can’t even move.” Then continue breathing as detailed in step three.

Step 5: And finally, saying mentally… “As I count down from ten I can feel my whole body growing more comfortable and warm”. Continue with the breathing technique until your whole body is warm and comfortable.

Step 6: You should now feel very relaxed and calm and you may even have fallen asleep. If you are awake and wish to come out of the relaxed state you can mentally say, “As I count up to five I will be awake and alert again”.

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