Why Relaxation?

One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to relax.  Taking time to unwind will slow your heart rate and breathing.  It’s also a way for you to rest muscles that have tightened during your day.  Even your brain wave patterns slow, matching the ones that appear just before you fall asleep.  Relaxation also brings mental rest.  This is a time for you to let go of your worry and concern, to focus on your breathing and to calm the inner dialogue.  Practice daily relaxation techniques and enjoy greater harmony between body and mind.  Relax, and reap the benefits of increased mental and physical energy.

Learn to use this relaxation technique.  Practicing relaxation will help you learn to focus on the connection between mind and body.

Relaxation Basics

Atmosphere – Your environment should calm and soothe you.  Try to create a special space that is connected with positive thoughts and feelings.  Dim the lights and turn off the phone – you’ll want to be free from distraction.

Attire – Wear your most comfortable clothing – usually this will be something loose and casual.  Make sure that you dress to fit the temperature of your environment – you want to be your most comfortable, not too hot or too cold.

Breathing – Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale fully.  This is the time to clear your mind and concentrate on how your body feels.  If you find your thoughts wandering, repeat a word or phrase in rhythm with your breathing.  You can also count backward from 100, keeping your counting in rhythm with your breaths.

Equipment – Master the art of body awareness to promote relaxation and enhance your sense of well being.  Guided instruction and instrumental music lead you to your inner resources for relieving stress and tension.  Use a blanket to make you feel secure, warm and protected.  A scented eye pillow provides soothing aromatherapy as well as an aid in helping you relax the muscles of your forehead, eyes and face.  A neck pillow places your head in comfortable alignment with the rest of your body.

Breathing

Prepare for proper breathing by lying on your back.  Place your hand upon your abdomen – this will help you to feel whether you are breathing correctly.  Use the back of your throat to pull and push the air through your nose.  First, exhale slowly allowing the breath to leave first the abdomen, then the lungs.  Remember, always exhale fully, so that there will be ample space for new air as you inhale.  When you inhale, release the tightness in your abdomen.  Let your stomach fill with air, but do not push your stomach or force air into it, just let it rise natually.  Now feel the air enter your lower lungs.  Keep your shoulders still and relaxed; do not let them rise.  After your lower lungs are filled, fill your upper lungs until the air comes up to your throat.  Now exhale, slowly allowing your lungs to relax as your stomach pulls gently in.

Meditation

Lie on your back comfortably, with arms at sides.  Notice all the parts of your body that may be tense and relax them.  Let the tension go.  Feel your body lengthening from your head to your toes.  Feel the expansion of your whole body as you breathe fully and deeply.  Continue to relax every part of your body.  Attend to your breathing.  Don’t control the breath, but let it come and go freely.  As you attend to and feel your breath throughout your body, begin to notice how your body itself feels.  Inhale into your feet – relax your ankles.  Inhale into your legs – relax your knees.  Inhale into your hips – relax your spine.  Breathe into your shoulders – relax your neck.  Breathe into your face, your jaw, and your forehead.  Relax.  Breathe at your own pace.  If thoughts enter your mind, deliberately let them go.  Keep bringing your focus back to breathing and feeling.  As you practice meditation you will become better at feeling rather than thinking.  You should begin to have a deep sense of peace and inner well-being.  Enjoy these emotions, soak them in, truly experience them.

I know … easier said than done, right?!  : )

~ by cmb0414 on August 5, 2010.

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