There is a common approach to relaxation that many people often use. First, they neglect the warning signs of accumulating stress and tension by keeping very busy or distracting themselves. They allow the tensions to build and build until at last they become unbearably tense and anxious, irritable and uncomfortable. Then they might sit down and try very hard to relax. And if that doesn't work, they might try harder! With this method, they quickly become more tense about being tense, more anxious about being anxious.
Perhaps you are familiar with this strategy, and perhaps you are looking for an alternative.
As the pace of our modern life continues to accelerate, the practical value of relaxation skills is emerging as a common sense alternative to tension, stress, and anxiety. Clinical research and performance evaluations clearly show that the ability to deeply relax is vital to our peace of mind, emotional well-being, physical health, and high-level performance.
The alternative to a chronic state of distress has been called the relaxation response. This is an integrated set of mind/body responses that counteracts and reduces the harmful effects of stress. This mode of dynamic relaxation is a return to a balanced, calm state following a period of stress-induced trauma. It's a movement toward equalizing and dissipating the pressures that build up in your mind and body.
The relaxation response is the mental and physical "sigh of relief" such as occurs when you put down a heavy load or when you recover from a close call. This kind of internal shift toward greater balance and harmony can be achieved by numerous methods, some of which have been successfully practiced for thousands of years. As the level of our personal and planetary distress has continued to grow, these methods have been closely studied and acclaimed as effective antidotes to the often destructive tension of the modern lifestyle from which so many of us suffer.
The dynamic relaxation offered on the Self-Guided Relaxation CD is characterized by an ever-changing balance which unifies mental alertness with a physical state of deep, restful relaxation.
Ordinary relaxation is often associated with a dull or asleep state, with little or no conscious activity of mind or body. At the other end of the spectrum is daily activity, most often associated with a busy, and often tense or anxious, state.Return from The Relaxation Response to Guided Imagery