The Way to Inner Peace
Transcendental meditation (TM), yoga, Zen-they all work by inducing the relaxation
response. Relaxation Response is a term first coined by Herbert Benson, M.D., at Harvard
Relaxation response shuts off the distracting, stressful, anxiety-producing aspects of what
is commonly called the fight-or-flight response.
A person experiencing the relaxation response turns off all the hormones and behaviors
that are making him nervous. Basically any kind of meditation will produce it, though TM,
yoga, and Zen require formal instruction and a good amount of self-discipline.
Dr. Benson suggests the following basic program for eliciting the response.
One, pick a focus word or phrase ("peace," for example) that is firmly rooted
in your personal belief system.
Two, sit quietly, close your eyes, and relax.
And three, start repeating your focus word in time with your breathing, each time you
exhale. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
Related Topic: Meditation, Yoga, Guided Imagery,
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