Four Steps to Relaxation
Therapeutic relaxation invites us to practice certain skills that create a specific physical response. The common denominator of all inducers of the relaxation response is an internal focus which signals your body that it is safe and that it’s okay to relax.
When you simply shut your eyes and turn your attention inward, muscles begin to relax, nerves are calmed, anxiety is decreased, and healing is enhanced.
Try this: Just shut your eyes for one minute and notice how you feel.
Try this: Take a minute to simply notice your breath. Not changing it in any way – just paying attention. Is it deep or shallow? Rapid or slow? Chances are that if your breath is shallow, your mind is racing, your muscles are tight and you feel hurried or anxious. If, however, your breath is calm, your mind, body, and emotions are as well.
Try this Simple Breathing Lesson:
Begin by finding a safe, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably or lay down on your back, close your eyes, and once again bring your attention to your breath. Now place your hands lightly just below your waistline on your tummy and imagine that you can inflate a balloon under your hands. As you breathe in, your hands should rise slightly. Then let the balloon out, noticing that your hands fall. This is our “natural” breath and is very soothing.
For deeper relaxation, try this:
1. Inhale naturally through your nose.
2. Exhale naturally through your nose.
3. Pause while saying to yourself, “Letting go, Letting go.”
4. Repeat Steps 1, 2, 3 and continue breathing in this way for a few minutes.
Come back to your “normal” breath and notice how you feel.
May you be happy, healthy and at peace.