Meditation is not used to reflect upon our problems, like one may assume, but to give our mind a break. Sometimes we gat involved in a spiral of worries and concerns that lead to anxiety and/or stress in our daily lives-worries about work, relationships, exams, etc. It can even bring about psychosomatic disorders.
Dr. Herbert Benson, cardiologist and professor at Harvard University created a simple but effective relaxation technique. Benson called it “Relaxation Response”, a way to reduce states of anxiety, quiet the mind and fend off the effects of stress.
Benson demonstrated that the effects of his Relaxation Response were opposed to those produced by anxiety, the “fight or flight” response. The results of this method of meditation are:
Sit or lie down quietly, comfortably wearing loose-fitting clothes.
Don’t do this relaxation during the two hours following a big meal, since the digestive processes interfere with the desired response.
Close your eyes.
To induce the relaxation response, choose a word or sound that you like, it can be something like “Mmmm…”
Relax all the muscles in your body, let them o limp. Sit down in a comfortable position, lean back your back.
Feel how your arms and legs become very heavy. Continue slowly and progressively this feeling of heaviness with the rest of your body: your hands