Öst’s Applied Relaxation Technique


Welcome to my blog, where we explore effective relaxation techniques and therapies that promote well-being and peace of mind. In this article, we delve into the longstanding and highly effective treatment known as Applied Relaxation (AR). Developed by Lars-Göran Öst in the 1970s, Applied Relaxation offers a comprehensive approach to relaxation and stress reduction. Join us as we uncover the transformative power of AR and its ability to cultivate tranquility in your life.

Understanding Applied Relaxation

Applied Relaxation is a therapeutic technique designed to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension by inducing a deep state of relaxation. It provides individuals with a structured framework to learn and apply relaxation skills in various situations, ultimately empowering them to manage stress and promote well-being in their everyday lives.

The Development of Applied Relaxation

Developed by Lars-Göran Öst, a renowned psychologist, Applied Relaxation emerged as an evidence-based treatment in the 1970s. Öst combined principles from Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) and Jacobson’s technique with additional cognitive-behavioral strategies to create a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical and psychological aspects of stress and anxiety.

How The Technique Works

  1. Education and Awareness: The AR process begins with education about stress, anxiety, and the physiological and psychological impact they have on the body and mind. Developing an understanding of these factors helps individuals become more aware of their own stress responses and triggers.

  2. Learning Relaxation Techniques: Applied Relaxation teaches individuals various relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. These techniques are practiced and refined under the guidance of a trained therapist, allowing individuals to experience the benefits of relaxation firsthand.

  3. Gradual Exposure and Generalization: AR employs a gradual exposure approach, where relaxation techniques are practiced in increasingly challenging situations. This helps individuals develop the ability to apply relaxation skills in real-life scenarios, such as public speaking, social interactions, or stressful work environments. The goal is to generalize relaxation skills to a wide range of situations, empowering individuals to manage stress and anxiety effectively.

  4. Cognitive Restructuring: Applied Relaxation incorporates cognitive restructuring techniques to challenge and modify negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to stress and anxiety. By identifying and reframing unhelpful thoughts, individuals can cultivate a more positive and adaptive mindset, further enhancing the effectiveness of relaxation techniques.

Benefits of Applied Relaxation (AR):

  1. Stress Reduction: AR provides individuals with effective tools to reduce stress and tension, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

  2. Anxiety Management: By combining relaxation techniques with cognitive restructuring, AR helps individuals manage anxiety and gain control over their anxious thoughts and physical symptoms.

  3. Improved Coping Skills: AR equips individuals with a range of coping skills to effectively handle stressors in various situations, allowing for greater resilience and adaptability.

  4. Enhanced Self-Awareness: Through the practice of AR, individuals develop a heightened sense of self-awareness, gaining insight into their own stress triggers and learning how to effectively respond to them.


Applied Relaxation is a highly effective and comprehensive treatment developed by Lars-Göran Öst in the 1970s. By combining relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, and gradual exposure, AR empowers individuals to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and promote overall well-being. With proper guidance, you can learn to embrace tranquility and apply relaxation skills in your everyday life.

If you’re seeking a structured and evidence-based approach to stress reduction and anxiety management, consider booking in a session and I will set up a personalised session plan tailored to your unique set of needs and goals.

Embrace the transformative power of Applied Relaxation and embark on a journey towards greater tranquility and well-being. With consistent practice and support, you can cultivate the ability to effectively manage stress, reduce anxiety, and experience a profound sense of calm in your life.

Remember, the benefits of Applied Relaxation extend beyond the therapy sessions. By integrating relaxation techniques and cognitive restructuring into your daily life, you can develop lifelong skills to navigate stressors and cultivate a greater sense of peace.

Release the burdens of stress and anxiety, and embrace the serenity that comes with Applied Relaxation. Discover the power within you to transform your relationship with stress, and embark on a path towards a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Would you like help in some area of your life? Consider Hypnotherapy. It is a safe, effective, and powerful treatment that works! Click here to book in a session today and unlock a world of possibilities for a happier, healthier you.