Alcoholics drink to cope with life. Therefore, during abstinence, you may find it difficult to handle stress. There are effective methods of handling stress and tension.
Relaxation is a behaviour therapy technique wherein you are taught to keep your body and mind calm, as a result of which you will be able to handle situations more effectively. Relaxation teaches you methods to eliminate tension from your body and feel light and comfortable.
The Jacobson Procedure
Jacobson was a renowned behaviour therapist who evolved this procedure. He followed this technique and found it effective. Given below is the procedure.
- Lie down on your back with palms facing upwards, as comfortably as possible.
- Close your eyes gently.
- Chase away all thoughts coming into your mind. Try to concentrate completely on what you are going to do, so that you can feel the difference between tension and relaxation and thus enjoy the comfort of being relaxed.
- Lie down on the floor. Tightly clench your right fist. Feel the tension. Feel how uncomfortable it is when you are tensed.
- Now slowly relax your fingers. Relax them completely and feel the difference. Feel how comfortable it is when you are relaxed. Enjoy the feeling of being relaxed.
- Repeat the same procedure with the left fist.
- Do the same with both fists.
- Clench both fists. Touch your shoulder with your fist without raising your arms from the floor, and then relax.
- Press the sides of your body with your open palms (fingers open).
- Touch the sides of your body with your open palms and push your shoulders downwards and then relax.
- Touch the sides of your body with your open palms and push your shoulders upwards (towards your ears) and then relax.
- Raise your eyebrows with your eyes closed gently and then relax.
- Knit your eyebrows and then relax.
- Press your eyelids harder (do not contract them) and then relax.
- Press the upper part (roof) of the mouth with your tongue (the whole tongue and not just the tip of the tongue) and then relax.
- Clench your teeth as hard as possible (press your upper teeth to your lower teeth) and then relax.
- Press your upper lip to your lower lip and then relax.
- Raise your head off the ground and touch your chest with your chin. In the same raised posture, slowly turn your head to the right (as much as possible) then to the left, then slowly to the centre and then slowly relax.
- Raise your chin upwards as much as possible. In the raised posture slowly turn to your right, then slowly to the left and then bring it to the centre and then slowly relax.
- Try to bring your shoulders as close as possible, by keeping your arms on the ground (you can feel the tension at the nape of your neck) and then relax.
- Press your shoulders to the ground, so that your chest expands and then relax.
- Push your stomach as far inward as possible and then relax.
- Push your stomach as far outward as possible and then relax.
- Keep your head, arms, waist, legs and feet on the ground and raise just your back off the ground and then relax.
- Tighten your thigh muscles and then relax.
- Bring your feet closer and push them as far inward as possible (towards your face without raising your legs) and then relax.
- Bring your feet closer and push them as far outward as possible and then relax.
- Now slowly take a deep breath and hold it (for a few seconds) then slowly breathe out.
- Start breathing normally.
Now right from head to toe, each part of your body is relaxed and is as light as feather. Likewise your mind is also calm and comfortable. Enjoy the comfort of being relaxed.
Be in that relaxed state for about five minutes, each minute enjoying the feeling of being relaxed.
Now slowly count from 5 to 1 and then slowly open your eyes. Slowly turn to your right and lie down and then slowly get up and sit down feeling light and relaxed, both in mind and body.