It is hard to relax. Even now with everyone at home you find projects around the house this needs to be done, that needs to be done, the kids are schooling from home, we are working from home. Take a moment to truly relax and see what it can do for you. Here is a little exercise to help you get in that truly relaxed state.

The Relaxation Response

Adapted from http://www.relaxationresponse.org/

 What is Relaxation?

The Relaxation Response is a state where you are physically relaxed and mentally alert. You can learn to achieve this state through the practice of the relaxation exercise described here.

 What the Relaxation Response is NOT –

  • Lazy on the couch
  • Sleeping
  • Being Lazy

What it IS –

  • A mentally active process that leaves the body relaxed
  • Best done in an awake state
  • You can learn it, and it becomes more profound with practice

You should practice the simple exercise described below to lower your stress levels. It is even better to incorporate this simple practice in your daily routine and practice it once or twice a day three to four days a week.

  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.
  4. Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word, “one,” silently to yourself. For example, breathe in… out, “one,” – in… out, “one,” etc. Breathe easily and naturally.
  5. When you notice your mind wandering (It will) just notice it and passively bring your attention back to your breathing.

Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.