One of my most important tips for you is to take time out each day for a regular relaxation practice—15 minutes can be enough.
The Relaxation Response is a state of quiet in the mind and the body. It results in decreased muscle tension, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate. It also restores energy, turns off the mental chatter and improves your mood.
Try this simple technique:
- Create a quiet, comfortable space, a place where you look forward to spending time.
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your back straight. This will keep you alert, with healthy circulation. Uncross your arms and legs, just letting your arms rest gently in your lap.
- Close your eyes and begin by taking three easy breaths, holding each breath a few seconds, then letting it go. Then just allow your breathing to return to its regular pace.
- Sit quietly, when thoughts come to mind, bring your focus back to your out-breath and you will find that your thoughts pass for a moment.
- If you’re holding onto tension anywhere in your body, breathe into that place, and as you exhale, try to let the tension go.
- After about 15 minutes, gently open your eyes and come back to the room feeling calm, refreshed, alert, and ready for the rest of the day ahead of you.
“Minis” are brief relaxation techniques that reduce stress and tension immediately. They focus on breathing and counting. Your breath is with you at every moment in time. TRY THIS:
As you breathe in, count slowly up to “4;” as you breathe out, count slowly back down to “1.” Thus, as you breathe in, you say quietly to yourself, “1.. 2.. 3.. 4,” and as you breathe out, you say quietly to yourself, “4.. 3.. 2.. 1.” Do this several times and notice how you feel.
Good times to do a “mini:”
While waiting in line or stuck in traffic
When you can’t sleep
While waiting in the doctor’s office
In the dentist’s chair
When you feel overwhelmed by all that you have to do