Practice It: Connect With Your Body's Relaxation Response

Friday, November 30, 2012

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  1. Lie comfortably on your back or find a comfortable and quiet place to sit.

  2. Close your eyes and breathe gently and naturally through your nose.

  3. Relax all your muscles, starting at your toes, and moving up to the top of your head.

  4. Connect your awareness to your breath. Focus on how your body feels and responds as you fill and empty your lungs with air.

  5. Continue for 5 to 20 minutes. Try to disconnect from any particular goal or agenda and just allow relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, simply acknowledge them and then return to the breath, focusing on the sounds and sensations as you breathe.

  6. When you are done, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and then open your eyes. Wait a few minutes before standing up.

Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. With practice, the relaxation response will likely come with less effort. 

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