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Systematic focusing: relaxation technique

Patient information A-Z

Get comfortable, shoes off and legs uncrossed. Sit or lay down. I will guide you through a list of areas of the body to focus on. Concentrate on that area, releasing any tightness, hardness in the muscle and aim for a soft heavy feeling in all the muscles. The breathing is important as a central focus. You don’t have to move, just use your mind to concentrate on the muscles and easing tension from it so it becomes relaxed.

You may wish to close your eyes and take your time to focus on the following:

  • Focus on your breathing – concentrate on the slow even rhythm, not deep, but regular smooth breathing. Even and slow.
  • Focus on your neck – ease the tightness so that the muscles become soft, smooth and free of strain in the front part, the back part, up overhead and along the sides.
  • Focus on your cheeks, chin and around your mouth – let the muscles become soft and relaxed. Let your mouth become limp and free of hardness.
  • Focus on your forehead – free of frowning and wrinkling, ease any tightness until the muscles feel flat and smooth.
  • Now focus on your eyes – your eyelashes are heavy, it would be a real effort if you tried to open your eyes. You feel as though you’re about to fall asleep. The muscles around your head and neck feel softer and smoother, heavy and relaxed.
  • Focus on your mind – free your mind of all concerns and worries – focus on the peace and silence in the room and the little noises around. You feel peaceful and warm.
  • Focus on your shoulders – free them of any hunched up tightness. Let them become very limp and heavy. Sinking downwards, very loose and comfy. They feel warm and heavy as they sink downwards.
  • Focus on your upper arms – find any hardness and tightness in the muscles and ease this gently down your arms so that your arms become very heavy and limp.
  • Focus on your lower arms – they are feeling very heavy.
  • Focus on your hands – ease any remaining tension down from your shoulders through your arms so it flows out through your hands. Feel your hands becoming heavier, warm and heavy.
  • Focus on your stomach – find any tightness, knotted or butterfly feelings or strain and ease it gently to the side. The muscles are becoming very soft and your body feels as if it is sinking deeper and deeper,
    further into the chair or bed. Warm sensations of relaxation begin to flow through.
  • Focus on your upper legs – as you focus on them they become warm and heavy. Let the tightness drift down your legs and flow away.
  • Focus on your lower legs – let that tension drain down as your legs feel heavier and more relaxed.
  • Focus on your feet and toes. They feel very heavy as the strain flows from them. They are warm and heavy.
  • Focus on your whole body – if you feel any remaining tension, focus on this area and allow the warm heavy feeling of relaxation take over.

Focus on your breathing
Focus on your neck
Focus on your head (Allow 15 seconds on each area)
Focus on your arms
Focus on your stomach
Focus on your legs

Your whole body feels heavy and relaxed. Feel the peace and heaviness of relaxation flow through your body.

Focus on your breathing……….even and slow……….even and slow

Now very slowly start to become aware of the sounds in the room and when you feel ready, open your eyes.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151