THIS EXERCISE IS WELL WORTH YOUR EFFORT!
This SIMPLE EXERCISE takes advantage of your brain’s ability to disassociate itself from external stimuli, and upsetting thoughts and refocus your attention where it would be more productive. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to do this AT WILL. It is a “Physiological” exercise, kind of like twiddling your thumbs.
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Victor E. Frankl
“Your problem is not the problem. Your reaction [to the problem] is the problem. A life of reaction is a life of BONDAGE; both intellectually and spiritually. You are not bound by habits and mistakes of the past”.-Unknown.(Meditation, to produce the Relaxation Response, helps you to DELIBERATELY go to that “space”, and expand it. It’s a skill. You can use it to take back control of painful, unruly emotions.)
This video is only about 5 minute long. Give it a try, and then continue reading below.
Did you try it? IF you didn’t … you know what to do. (COME ON! IT WILL BE WELL WORTH IT!)
THIS IS NOT A “RELIGIOUS” CULT EXERCISE! FIRST USED A VERSION OF THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE, IN 1995, AFTER READING THE CLASSIC BOOK: “THE RELAXATION RESPONSE” – (1975) By Herbert Benson I found it in a used book store for $4.00. Here’s a Wikipedia article on it:
I first came across this exercise years ago, reading about it in a different book on Mindfulness Meditation. I read the chapter in Benson’s book on how the exercise is performed. It was about 8 pages. I tried it that night, to get my mind to quiet down. I did it so I could go to sleep.
The video “ONE MOMENT MEDITATION” makes learning the essential technique quite a bit faster, and distills it to its ESSENCE.
I found that as I got better at the exercise (over about 10 days) I was counting my breaths. The first night it was ten; next night is was 15. The third night it was 25. etc.
ELICITING THE RELAXATION RESPONSE:
I thought I would try for 100 breaths, counting every breath in and out. I began to combine the exercise with progressive relaxation, where I would mentally scan my body for any areas of unnoticed tension. During that period, I was able to calm my mind. It helped me to stop the flow of incessant thought. I was beginning to get skilled at eliciting the “Relaxation Response”.
As you progress in this practice, You may find that you have a greater skill at handling situations that before you found irritating or emotionally exhausting.
It is a physiological response; a BODILY RESPONSE. My brain & nervous system were being trained to respond. Many nights after that, it dawned on me that I was losing count of my breaths, at around 75 breaths. These were deep, slow breaths.
At that point, I was able to let go completely and drift off to sleep. It all starts with you practice of the ability to focus on your breath