There are a lot of similarities one can find between meditation and deep relaxation. A number of studies reveal that different forms of yoga, meditation, and relaxation can lead to the very same health benefits. At Harvard medical school, the founder of the body mind medical institute has been studying meditation for more than three decades and since then has discovered a mental state, which he named the relaxation response. This is a state that can offset the devastating effects of stress.
This state of relaxation can be experienced through Chinese posture and meditation including Tai chi and qigong. In order to reap these benefits, you don’t need to learn these age-old philosophies. You can experience it by simply watching the sun go down, doing a leisurely repetitive task, such as tapestry or knitting or performing an easy exercise. Whatever activity you indulge in, it switches off what the founder refers to as monkey mind, the never-ending noise that goes through your head like the static sound in a radio.
When you relax, your blood pressure falls, heart rate, metabolism, brain waves and breathing slow down, you’re your mind shift down a gear and your muscles relax. Tension is released and your breathing suddenly becomes even deeper. To attain this relaxation response, you need to say a short phrase or a word over and over again. It could be a word like Allah or Jesus or phrase like a short prayer or comforting words like love or ocean.
Quietly sit in a really relax and comfortable position then shut your eyes. Breathe naturally and slowly as your repeat your phrase or word. Brush everyday thoughts aside as they slip into your mind, and return to your exercise. Avoid becoming anxious about the way you do this exercise. You are not in this to attract or impress anyone. Do the exercise for about 10 – 20 minutes and then open your eyes slowly. Pause for a few minutes before standing up. Perform this technique two times a day.
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