Learn to Relax
Almost all can benefit from learning more about how to relax. All relaxing activities start with calming one's body and mind. Focusing on one's breath is one of the simplest and most effective ways to let go of stress and tension.
One well-researched technique is the Relaxation Response, a simple practice that takes 10 to 20 minutes a day and can relieve the stress and tension that interfere with life. The technique was developed by Herbert Benson, M.D., at Harvard Medical School and is described in his book The Relaxation Response (Harper Collins, 2000).
There are many other documented relaxation techniques. Online resources include:
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has four audio sessions: Breathe Easy, Relax Those Muscles, Body Scan and Cultivate Mindfulness.
- The University of Texas at Austin has a four-track relaxation tape that also includes visual imagery.
- The University of South Georgia has a series of online relaxation exercises that cover breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, self-talk and meditation. This site also includes scripts of the different exercises.