Welcome again, to the fourth of four lessons taking you through the content of my ebook, Change Techniques.
Today we're going to look at the Relaxation Response Practice. This is based on traditional meditation techniques, used for a very practical purpose: To enhance your ability to deal with stress in your mind and body.
The Relaxation Response Practice trains your mind, first of all, to let go of stress and the thoughts and emotions that lead to it. It also shifts your body over to its "maintenance" mode, where the important work of digestion, healing and repair goes on. Dr Herbert Benson has studied its positive physical effects over many years, and his website relaxationresponse.org contains links to his impressive results.
I have adapted his steps slightly and recorded them, so that you can close your eyes and be talked through the ten simple steps until you reach the point where they come automatically. Download the recording and give it a listen.
This is a long-term practice. Research on this kind of technique indicates that after about three months of regular practice, it's possible to detect physical changes in the structure of your brain. (Of course, the changes start immediately, it's just that the current state of the art can't detect them until the 3-month point.) That might sound daunting, but take it one day at a time. On each actual day of practice, all you're doing is spending ten minutes sitting in a comfortable chair.
What you're likely to find is that thoughts and emotions start emerging that were previously buried. If they are unexpected or unpleasant (it can happen), just think of them as the dirty water in a long-unused pipe. It has to come out before the water runs clean. And you're now equipped with tools and techniques to manage those moods and emotions, thoughts and feelings as they arise.
Where to from here? Well, it's long-term practice of these techniques that is going to give you benefits. I suggest that you keep the time you set aside for doing these lessons booked out, and use it to practice daily.
If you want more tools for change, and better ways to manage your personal transition to a new way of being, you'll want to consider my follow-on course: AIM Your Mind. It has more encouraging lessons, more relaxing recordings, and more advice, techniques and training to move you forward to your goals. (And of course there's a special deal for you on AIM Your Mind - just click through from this website and you should see it.)
I hope you've enjoyed the course and the ebook, and benefited from them.