Relaxation Response Technique

The relaxation response is the opposite of stress response. It slows heart rate and breathing, reduces oxygen consumption, increases skin resistance, lowers blood pressure and helps relieve muscle tension. The technique given below is from Dr. Herbert Benson, MD who established that these techniques had a very real effect on reducing stress and controlling the fight-or-flight response.

Object:To relax each muscle group to calm you down when you are highly stressed.

Clothing: loose clothing.

Place & Position: sit quietly in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.

The Technique

  1. Begin progressive muscle relaxation. Start by relaxing the muscles of your feet and work up your body relaxing muscles. Focus on your breathing through your abdomen. When you exhale, say "rel-a-a-a-a-a-x" in your mind very slowly. You can speak anything like 1-2-3-4-5 or Om or 5-4-3-2-1 or any God.
  2. Do it 10-20 minutes. Allow any distracting thoughts to drift away.

Practice this relaxation response technique 2 times a day. Do not do within 2 hours of a full meal.

Note: When you breath out, instead of counting, you focus on an object, sound or imagery.

Focusing on an object: Focus your attention to an object such as flowers, candle flames, lamps, alarm clocks, etc. Examine its details like shape, color, texture, position and movement.

Focus on a sound: Focus on sounds like word ?Om?, meaning ?perfection?, some rhymes.

Focusing on Imagery: Create a mental image of a pleasant and relaxing place in your mind like a picture of God, a scenery, sea waves, blue sky, etc.

Stress & Meditation - Relaxation Topics

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