The Relaxation Response is a physical state of deep rest that can help to reduce your stress levels, and enable you to live a healthier, calmer life. Attaining this state of rest is a great way to rest your adrenals, switch off your ‘fight or flight’ response, activate your ‘rest and digest’ response, and begin your recovery from adrenal fatigue.
The discovery of this physical state originated many centuries ago with the use of Transcendental Meditation in India. More recently it was popularized in Western markets by a Harvard Medical School doctor named Herbert Benson, who described it in detail in his book The Relaxation Response. You can see below a summary of the technique that he described. This simple technique takes only 10-20 minutes each day, and can help you to attain the Relaxation Response.
The goal of this technique is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn causes us to relax. You can practice this technique once or twice daily, but at least two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response. Note that many other techniques can help you attain the relaxation response, including certain forms of yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing.
Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
Close your eyes.
Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.
Keep them relaxed.
Breathe through your nose.
Become aware of your breathing.
As you breathe out, say the word, “ONE”, silently to yourself. For example, breathe IN … OUT, “ONE”,- IN .. OUT, “ONE”, etc.
Breathe easily and naturally.
Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.
When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened.
Do not stand up for a few minutes.
Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation.
Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.
When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating “ONE.”
With practice, the response should come with little effort.