I thought I would post this as it's been helpful to me at night when I'm anxious about going to bed. I learned about it at a training I took for work. It's from the book "The Relaxation Response," by Dr. Herbert Benson.
I'm copying this from the papers we were given at training.
The Relaxation Response is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress and decreases heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing and muscle tension.
When eliciting the relaxation response:
~ Your metabolism decreases ~ Your heart beats slower ~ Your muscles relax ~ Your breathing becomes slower ~ Your blood pressure decreases
The Relaxation Response
To elicit the relaxation response there are two essential steps:
1. Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, or muscular activity. 2. Passive disregard of everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and the return to your repetition.
The following is the generic technique taught at the Benson-Henry Institute:
1. Pick a focus word, short phrase, or prayer that is firmly rooted in your belief system, such as "one," "peace," "the Lord is my Shepard," "Hail Mary full of grace," or "Shalom."
2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Relax your muscles, progressing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, head neck.
5. Breath slowly and naturally and as you do, say your focus word, sound, phrase or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale.
6. Assume a passive attitude. Don't worry about how well you're doing. When other thoughts come to mind, simply say to yourself, "Oh well," and gently return to your repetition.
7. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
8. Do not stand immediately. Continue sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising.
9. Practice the technique once or twice daily. Good times to do so are before breakfast and before dinner.
Ok, I do this when I go to bed. Laying in the dark, with it quiet. My word is "sleep," since I have trouble falling asleep. Not gonna lie and say this work all the time as sometimes my anxiety is too high to focus, but it does help. And many times I have fallen asleep before the 20 minutes is up.
Edited by: GYPSYBRIE at: 4/15/2008 (11:08)
". . .but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
"As long as their is a dream, there is hope. As long as there is hope, there is joy in living."
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.