Mental health feelings

Relaxation induced anxiety.

“Relaxation-induced anxiety is a phenomenon that occurs when a person feels extremely uncomfortable, anxious, or agitated as a result of (actual or perceived) physical and/or psychological relaxation.  The anxious response is considered to be an ironic and counterintuitive reaction due to the fact that for a majority of individuals, increased relaxation tends to reduce anxiety and increase psychological resilience to stress.  However, it is important to consider that for a small percentage of individuals, experiencing deep relaxation and emotions that these relaxed states of consciousness evoke, can be problematic.”



What the actual fuck?!

So, this is how my therapist/ paid person 😉 has worked out why I have so much trouble being mindful.

In a session, we went through several different techniques meant to lower your state of arousal in order to be calm enough to use skills instead of resorting to harmful or problematic behaviours.

In DBT these are called TIP skills.

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to do this but If anyone is interested in them, I have scanned a page from my work book which explain these a little more.


Sorry it’s wonky! 



So, relaxation induced anxiety?

We took the P…

It is both the paced breathing and the paired muscle relaxation that we tried in our session that lead to my new very informal diagnosis.

The paced breathing increased my heart rate, I felt like I couldn’t get enough oxygen, my thoughts were spinning, I felt sick. Paired muscle relaxation made me crampy, tense, shaky, my teeth were chattering.

The combination basically sent me into a mini panic attack, something I haven’t had in quite a while.

So what have I been told to do?…


work harder

Keep trying, practice, do more.

I really have no idea what to do!!
Has anyone else ever experienced this? 
Should I keep pushing myself into being mindful and practicing the TIP skills, or just give up? 


Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Relaxation induced anxiety.

  1. I laughed. Not AT you, of course. This makes perfect sense, especially if someone has anxiety, for example.
    I HATE lack of control and it sounds like you pair a relaxed demeanor with losing control and you panic.
    Have you considered listing what, in your entire life, DID make you feel relaxed? What situations or practices do you implement when you’re freaking out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could possibly be control issues, I’m really not sure. There are plenty of things I do find relaxing they’re just the wrong sort of relaxing I guess… Like reading a good book, in the bath, with a cup of tea and the radio on 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s good that you’ve got a name and explanation to the phenomenon, but frustrating to be in such a situation, you poor thing. I found the best thing to do with any therapy was to not give up too fast, sometimes you need to go through difficult stages to get to the help, plus that way your therapist can see you’re trying and so will keep trying also. However, there’s a point where you’re allowed to say ‘I’ve tried, no more!’
    t might help to start small though, a couple of deep breaths, a few moments of concentration, so that you don’t feel out of control.


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