Part One, Tense and Relax: This audio exercise takes you on a mental journey through the entire system of voluntary muscles in your body. You can take that journey in a comfortable chair, in bed, or even on the floor. With your eyes closed, you attend to the messages that each muscle sends to the brain as you first tense, then relax that muscle. As you move from muscle to muscle, you learn first the sensation of tension, then the sensation of relaxation. You experience the good feeling of that first wave of relaxation following sustained tension. Then you will discover the wonderful feeling as the muscle relaxes further and further. You may feel more relaxed than you have ever felt. When there is no tension that remains in the muscle, that it deep muscle relaxation.
Part Two, Relax Only: During this exercise, you will learn how to relax without first tensing the muscle. You will learn how to control the process of relaxation and letting go of tension. You will learn how to develop profound relaxation.
Part Three, Visual Muscles: You will learn how to relax your eye muscles. These muscles are intimately connected to forming images. If you can learn to relax these muscles, you can gain control over distressing images.
Part Four, Vocal Muscles: During this exercise, you will learn how to relax your vocal muscles. Jacobson believed that if the vocal muscles became totally relaxed, thinking would cease. Gaining control over these muscles will help you to get control over your negative self-talk.