A Time for Expression

Relaxation Training for Wellness: Speaking Engagements, Recordings, Classes, Coaching

Beth Freschi is a relaxation and life coach based in St. Paul, MN and the owner of A Time for Expression, LLC. She holds a B.A. in psychology from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from University of St. Thomas (St. Paul. MN). With over 15 years of experience in the mental health field, she brings a wealth of professional knowledge to her nuanced, specialized relaxation classes and popular recordings.

1 Minute Relaxation Break

My relaxation training classes and recordings run between 30 and 60 minutes in length, but do you think I can fit all of the elements into one minute? I like a challenge...

I use four main relaxation techniques:  breathing, muscle relaxation, guided imagery and meditation. Here are abbreviated versions so you can enjoy a mini relaxation training session:

Breathing

Inhale deeply, expanding your belly...exhale completely, releasing stress and tension...

On the next inhale, raise your arms above your head...as you exhale, lower your arms. Repeat: inhale as you raise your arms...exhale as you lower your arms. One more time:  raise your arms as you Inhale....lower your arms as you exhale...

Muscle Relaxation

Let's try a quick version of Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Instead of tensing and releasing each muscle group, I will ask you to tense all of your muscles and hold for a count of four and then release all of your muscles at once. So tense all of your muscles:  scrunch your facial muscles, shrug your shoulders, flex your biceps, make two fists, tighten your tummy, squeeze your glutes, tighten your thigh muscles and curl your toes. Feel tension all over your body and hold for a count of 1...2...3...4... and then release all at once! Allow your body to soften, imagine your muscles melting like butter, breathe deeply and relax...

Guided Imagery

Imagine a place where you feel safe and comfortable, a place where you can set aside your concerns for this moment and be completely at ease. Are you indoors or outdoors? Notice the details of this place using all of your senses—sight, sound, taste, touch and smell...Feel the air on your skin—is it warm or pleasantly cool? You breathe in a delightful scent that surrounds you. The beauty of this place instantly calms and comforts you. Allow yourself to daydream for a few moments in this wonderful place—feeling calm, happy and carefree...(pause for 15 seconds, allowing yourself to enjoy this place in your imagination).

Meditation

We will end this one minute relaxation with a brief loving kindness meditation:

Please put your attention on your breath for a few moments...

Find the feeling of loving kindness within you, by thinking of someone or something that generates feelings of love (pause). Allow this feeling to spread until it fills you from head to toe (pause). Now repeat these words inwardly, directed towards yourself:

May I be safe and protected
May I be filled with peacefulness
May I be healthy and strong
May I be happy just as I am
May I live in this world with ease

Spend a few more moments breathing slowly and gently, and when you are ready, enjoy a nice long stretch...

How do you feel after this one minute relaxation break? You can learn more about deepening these feelings and sensations at www.atimeforexpression.com

May you find a time for relaxation this week...