The practice of guided relaxation gives you a way to move beyond the automatic, habitual, thinking mind into a deeper state of attentiveness and relaxation. When you can fully and deeply relax, your stress diminishes, and you can begin the process of healing from the damage associated with chronic levels of stress. Guided relaxation has also been linked to an improved sense of well-being.
Guided Relaxation Techniques
A variety of relaxation techniques are used in guided relaxation. They include but are not limited to:
- Breath awareness
- Repetition of words or phrases
- Body scan
Guided relaxation provides strong tools for transformation. Each of the relaxation techniques on the list above can be learned and put into practice on a regular basis to nourish your spirit and quiet your mind. Often, a greater sense of well-being and joy are the by-products of feeling cared for and nourished. They are also the result of being in a place of tranquility and calm.
1. Breath Awareness.
Breath awareness is literally right “under your nose.” Relaxed, mindful breathing helps to center and ground you. When you focus on your breath, that focus takes you away from the endless recurring chatter in your mind and directs you to the quiet, steady rhythm of your breathing.
The breath gives you a tangible focus for your attention. Attention to the breath produces a concentrated mind in a calm body, tranquil and alert. Three minutes of diaphragmatic (or soft-belly) breathing will shut down the Stress Response and begin to elicit the Relaxation Response!
2. Repetition of Words or Phrases.
Making use of repetitive words, phrases or mantras may be help to deepen the relaxation response. To do this, you can repeat a word or phrase each time you exhale. You can use phrases such as “I am calm.” “My breath is deep.” “May I abide in peace.” You can also use words that connect to your deepest beliefs – words such as: love, grace, peace, mercy. Or words that are neutral such as one, falling, calm, let go, relax, rest, yes.
Using words or phrases in this way functions as an anchor might, tethering you to peace, stillness, and calm.
3. Body Scan.
Guided relaxation which leads you through a body scan helps you focus on different parts of your body, relaxing each part sequentially. You visualize and feel a part of your body, then breathe into and relax it. With the body scan, you quickly learn that if you relax the body, the mind will follow! By centering in with the breath and relaxing the body, the choppy waves of the agitated mind can begin to change from their habitual activated and over-vigilant response and flow towards a more calm, peaceful state.
Guided Relaxation for Improved Health
Guided relaxation gives you powerful and effective techniques to increase awareness and deepen relaxation, both of which help you become healthier and less stressed. There are many forms of guided relaxation, including focus on the breath, use of repetition with phrases or words, and the guided body scan. Each of these brings a sense of calm and a happier, relaxed state of mind.
Are you ready to reap the benefits of guided meditation for yourself? The Alchemy of Peace & Love, a 2 CD-set of guided relaxation techniques can calm and relax you. On disc 1, you will learn to use the breath, the body scan and repetition of phrases to deepen relaxation. On disc 2, you will use guided imagery, affirmations and an imaginary journey to enhance your self-esteem.
Feel better about yourself. Say good-bye to tension.
Find a few minutes in your day to put guided relaxation into your life and you will notice the difference!