To achieve deep relaxation, we must first learn to recognize exactly how tension feels. To do this, lie comfortably on a bed, couch or floor with arms extended slightly from the sides.
Raise your right arm about six inches, make a fist, and tense the entire lower arm from elbow to fist. Tense as tightly as you can and hold it.
Now become aware of the very uncomfortable feeling in your right arm and hand as you hold it under tension. Hold the tension for only six seconds. Then release and gently drop the arm. Note how good it feels as your right arm and hand experience immediate relaxation.
Without waiting, repeat the same tension routine using the left arm. As you hold the left arm tense, compare how it feels with the now-relaxed right arm. Hold your left arm tightly tensed for six seconds. Then release and gently drop it.
No longer should you have any difficulty in identifying muscular tension. Now place your awareness on the face and jaw.
Does your jaw ache with tension? Many tension headache sufferers experience such constant tension in the jaw that it sets up a constant ache in the temples. Constant frowning can also cause a chronic ache in the forehead.
Mentally work over your forehead, eyes, face, jaw neck, sensing out and identifying tense areas. Most can probably identify tension around the eyes. Much of this tension stems from anxiety. But it often becomes so habitual that it continues even after the anxiety has gone.