To help manage Election Day anxiety, Elemental is bringing you a body scan for stress relief (also known as progressive muscle relaxation therapy; read more about the science behind it here). Read through the guided meditation slowly and carefully, or just press play on the audio above and close your eyes.
Take a deep inhale, then sigh it out.
Feel the breath entering the lungs and filling the belly.
Feel the belly expand… the chest… the rib cage.
Exhale and feel your belly soften.
Continue and feel your breath rise and fall like an ocean tide.
Take a moment to tune out any thoughts that don’t serve you at this moment, while you tune in to the brilliant power and gift of your breath.
Bring your attention to your nose.
Notice if it feels cold or warm.
Inhale to scrunch your nose, and exhale to release.
One more time: Inhale to scrunch the nose…
And exhale to release.
Feel the nose soften.
Let the cheeks soften.
Let the ears relax as you try to internally tune out the world and tune in to yourself.
Bring awareness to your eyes.
Exhale gently and close the eyes for three breaths.
Three, two, one…
Open the eyes, but keep them soft.
Feel the lids connect with every gentle blink.
Release tension in the muscles around the eyes.
Release the sides of the face and the temples and ears.
Release the space between the brows.
Bring awareness to the crown of your head and the roots of your hair.
Feel a tingle of energy down your back.
With every inhale, breathe the peaceful energy of relaxation from the face down into the rest of the body.
Create a wavelike vibration of peace all around the crown of the head.
Release the thoughts and focus all your awareness on this relaxation and awareness.
Let everything pass you by like floating clouds in the sky.
Create a space of slow motion around you.
Repeat this affirmation either out loud or in your head: “My thoughts and fears do not define me.”
Inhale… and exhale.
Now bring your awareness to the space where the neck and the shoulders meet.
Breathe into any spaces of tension, and let go.
Feel the neck: free, opened, safe, and relaxed.
Release any tension and resistance as you inhale… and exhale.
Feel the hair gently caressing the back of your neck.
Inhale safety, freedom, and relaxation into the neck…
Sigh out (maybe a loud sigh if you can).
Yawn if you need to.
Inhale… purse the lips as if you bit into a sour lemon while scrunching the face.
Exhale to release the purse and allow the lips to part open.
Inhale and purse the lips…
Exhale… let the lips part open.
Feel the breath exit the mouth.
Exhale to open the mouth wide, sending the tongue down to the chin.
Retract the tongue and inhale with sealed lips…
Exhale while sending the tongue down to the chin, releasing a lion-like hiss.
Scaring away your fears and anxiety.
Repeat for as many times as you would like.
Inhaling… and exhaling a hiss, sending the tongue down to the chin.
When you are satisfied, release the movement.
Feel the jaw soften.
Feel the lips part.
Let the tongue relax in the mouth.
Repeat this affirmation, either out loud or in your head: “With every new situation, an opportunity for courage and perseverance is born.”
Now bring your awareness to your shoulders.
Inhale and raise the shoulders up toward the ears.
Exhale and release the shoulders down.
Inhale; raise the shoulders up.
Exhale; release them down.
Breath in and sigh out.
Begin to trace circles with the shoulders, moving them up to the ears… forward… down… back and up… forward… down… back and up…
Inhale and move the shoulders up toward the ears… and exhale. Begin to move them back… down… forward and up.
Play around with this movement for as long as you would like, incorporating breath with movement.
Notice how the shoulders feel.
When you are ready, take a nice deep inhale… exhale and release the movement.
Feel a wave of letting go and relaxation wash over the upper arms, the elbows, and wrists.
Rolls the wrists one way… and then the other.
Inhale… exhale and release the movement in the wrists.
Let them soften.
Let them go.
Feel the deep relaxation trace every finger to fingertip.
Bring awareness to the whole arms, from shoulders to fingertips.
Breathe in… and sigh out.
Let the arms become heavy and relaxed alongside you.
Repeat this affirmation, either out loud or in your head: “I honor my self-expression and inner truth.”
Now let go of thoughts that may have triggered tension in your chest.
Feel your chest expanding and softening with every breath you take.
Breathe naturally and notice the gift and power of your breath without criticism or judgment.
Without forcing it to perform in any way.
Just let the breath dance naturally in your lungs, as you breathe in… and breathe out.
Bring awareness to your collarbone, your chest, and your upper back.
Notice how they dance with the breath.
Notice the wings of the shoulder blades expand and soften on every inhale and exhale.
See if you can expand the chest from side to side.
Inhale and feel the expansion.
Hold for three, two, one…
Exhale, let go, and soften.
Feel the expansion from front to back.
Inhale and hold for three, two, one.
Exhale… let go.
Let yourself breathe naturally, and feel the rise and fall of your breath like an ocean tide.
See if you can feel or hear the heartbeat in your chest.
Tune in to the heart, and tune everything else out.
Feel the heart bringing a fresh wave of calm to all parts of the body as you focus on its every beat.
Breathe and remember that as the heart gives so much to you, you must take time to give back to it.
Repeat this affirmation, either out loud or in your head: “Love guides me.”
Now bring your awareness to your belly.
Notice how it expands on your inhale and softens on your exhale.
Inhale and feel the belly stretch as the lungs expand and your diagram creates more space for your lower ribs.
Exhale and feel everything soften, like the wings of a dove after a long flight home.
Feel how this letting go informs the rest of your body.
How it informs the quality of your breath.
Feel the middle of your back soften.
Feel the bit of flexibility in your lower ribs.
Feel your belly button relax and melt toward the spine.
Inhale and hold the breath in the belly for four… three… two… one…
Exhale, sigh the air out, and let go.
One more time: Inhale; hold the breath in the belly for four… three… two… one…
Feel any tension or resistance in your core dissipate as your breath cradles the middle of your body.
Let the world dissolve around you, and feel the connection from your hips and lower back to the very bottom of your ribs.
Repeat this affirmation, either out loud or in your head: “I am strong and centered.”
Now bring your awareness to the tops of the legs and your back.
Notice your inner thighs.
Notice the strength and softness between the two legs.
Inhale… and exhale.
Bring your attention to your glute muscles and pelvis.
Breathe into the muscles, and engage the glute muscles and inner thighs.
Inhale a sip more of breath.
Exhale and release any tension, any resistance, knowing that you are safe and you can let go.
Feel the lower back begin to release as you breathe deeper, sending the breath to the space where the back curves into a gentle smile.
Feel the hips release.
Allow yourself to feel the connection from the tops of your legs to the space right below the belly.
Feel yourself connecting to that space, staying present, and recognizing that nothing else matters but this moment and this connection.
Repeat this affirmation, either out loud or in your head: “I am safe and protected.”
Now bring all your awareness to your feet, your toes, the tops of the feet and the bottoms.
Notice how they feel.
Wiggle your toes. Flex and point your feet.
Take a nice big deep inhale and point the toes.
Hold the breath for three, two, one.
Relax the feet.
Bring awareness to your ankles, your calf muscles, your shins, and your knees.
Feel the connection from the ankles to the knees.
Flex the feet, guiding the heels toward the earth and the toes toward the sky.
Engage your calves and feel the ankles tense.
Inhale… and exhale.
Let go… release.
Roll the ankles. Sway the legs in any way that feels food.
Take a big, deep inhale, and then a gentle exhale.
Let go of any tension, any resistance.
Let a soft stillness encapsulate the muscles from toes to knees.
Send your breath to the feet, and let the breath act like ocean waves washing any tension away.
Let go, feel grounded, and breathe.
Repeat this affirmation, either out loud or in your head: “I am exactly where I need to be.”
Inhale… and exhale.
Audio recording courtesy of Liza Colpa. Music: “369 Seconds of Bliss” by 369.