Relaxation Response: Dr. Herbert Benson Teaches You The Basics

Relaxation Response: Dr. Herbert Benson Teaches You The Basics


To evoke the relaxation response, usually two steps are necessary. One is a repetition that can be a word, a sound, a prayer, a phrase or a repetitive movement. The second is, when other thoughts come to mind, you passively discregard them and come back to the repetition. What these two steps do is break the train of everyday thinking. So one has to choose a word, a sound, a prayer, a phrase or a repetitive movement to repeat. You can choose the number 1, the word peace, the word love, the word gentle, the word calm So once you’ve chosen that word or prayer, sit in a comfortable position close your eyes, and relax all your muscles starting with your feet, your calves, your thighs roll your head and neck around and keep your eyes closed. Now, breathe slowly and each out breath, say silently your prayer, or word. Now other thoughts will come to mind. They’re normal, they’re natural and they should be expected. But when they do come to mind, don’t be upset but simply say “oh well” and come back to your repetition. Now, I’m going to let you do this for about 5 minutes, at the end of which time I’ll ask you to keep your eyes closed, but to start thinking your regular thoughts. But now on your out breath, your word, or prayer… other thoughts “oh well” and back to it. Now keep your eyes closed keep you eyes closed, but start thinking your regular thoughts. And, now slowly slowly open your eyes. One shouldn’t be disturbed if you were bombarded with everyday thoughts but, even if you were “oh welling” it the whole time, that’s okay. To get the full impact of the relaxation response, one should do it on a daily basis, for 10 or 15 minutes or so. People characteristically like to do this in the morning. Get up, go to the bathroom, shower, shave, but before breakfast, sit and do this for 10 to 15 minutes. When the time is up, don’t get up very quickly simply open your eyes and then get up You might be a tad dizzy as you get up, which is not at all dangerous, but no need if you go into it slowly and come out of it slowly And basically what you will be doing Is tapping into a resource you have within yourself Which is opposite to that of stress. And I hope you will benefit from this practice. Thank you.

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