Wellness \ Mind & Body

How to Relax Your Body to Reduce Your Stress Levels

When it comes to fighting stress, meditation has long been hailed as a relatively quick and simple solution. But for some, it's not that easy.

"Many people have problems sitting quietly and focusing on a word, a sound, a prayer, or a phrase."

Dr. Herbert Benson is a leading expert on relaxation techniques. If you can't sit still and meditate, he suggests adding a more active routine—a process called body awareness.

"You can go through your body, flexing your fingers, relaxing them; flexing your wrists, relaxing them; flexing muscles step by step."

However you do it, the goal is the same—to produce a deep state of meditation called the relaxation response. You can also achieve this state by practicing quiet, solitary exercises like tai chi or yoga.

"Yoga evokes the relaxation response because with breathing and postures one breaks the train of everyday thought."

And that's a major goal of the exercise—to stop the stream of stressful thoughts that can negatively affect your mental and physical health.

"By doing the relaxation response regularly ten to 15 minutes you actually become more efficient and productive and you make up for it through out the entire day."

And, he says, you may reap the rewards of improved physical and mental well-being.


This entry last modified on: October 24, 2012 4:25 PM

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About the Video

This stress relief technique from Dr. Herbert Benson can erase negative thoughts and improve your physical and mental well-being.

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