The Mitchell Method of Relaxation
Relaxation is a skill and, like any other skill, benefits from practice.
The relaxation procedure we detail below is one that has been practised for 10-15 years. It is called the ‘Mitchell Method’. Studies have shown that it is extremely effective. The method is commonly used by the NHS in the UK.
Advise your team that you are going to talk them through the Mitchell Method of relaxation and that you would like them to follow what you say in order to practice the technique.
Ask them to get in a comfortable position; this could be lying on the floor, leaning forward onto a desk, or sitting back in their chair. It really is not important as long as they feel comfortable.
When all are in a comfortable position, you will talk them through the following script. Do not alter the words as they are designed specifically to aid relaxation.
Shoulders Pull your shoulders down towards your feet. STOP pulling your shoulders down. Feel that your shoulders are now lower and your neck feels longer.
Elbows Push your elbows slightly away from your side. STOP pushing your elbows out. Be aware that your elbows are open and slightly away from your side.
Hands Stretch out your hands, fingers and thumbs. STOP stretching them out.
Observe your hands, fingers and thumbs fully supported. Feel the surface they are resting on.
Hips Roll your hips and knees outwards. STOP rolling outwards. Be aware that your legs are slightly apart and turned outwards.
Knees Adjust until comfortable. STOP adjusting. Reflect on the resulting position.
Feet Gently push your feet down, away from your face. STOP pushing them down. Feel your feet hanging loosely from the ankle joints.
- Body Press your body into the support. STOP pressing. Consider the sensation of your body resting against the support.
- Head Press your head into the pillow. STOP pressing. Feel your heavy head nestling comfortably in the hollow you have made in the pillow.
Jaw Keeping your lips closed, pull down your lower jaw. STOP pulling down.
Feel that your teeth are no longer touching and that the jaw-line is easy.
Tongue Move your tongue low in your mouth. STOP moving. Register that your tongue is lying in the middle of your mouth.
Eyes Close your eyes, if you wish to, or state instead.
Forehead Imagine someone smoothing away from your frown lines from the eyebrows up over the top and the back of your head. STOP doing this. Feel the smoothing of the skin.
- Breathing Sigh out. Breathe low down in your chest at your own natural resting breathing rate, with slight emphasis on the out breath
Ending the relaxation
To bring this relaxation session to an end – gradually become aware of the room – feel the floor/chair underneath you – open your eyes – give your limbs a few gentle stretches – have the feeling that you are alert and ready to carry on with your life.
If you would like some training on stress management or to discuss how you can incorporate wellbeing into your People Strategy do get in contact with us.