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Relaxation Techniques by Susan Eisner, MPH, CASAC, President, Visionary Health Solutions

10 – 20 Minutes – (Set alarm if needed)

PURPOSE: TO RELAX, AND TO FOCUS AND REFOCUS ON THE BREATH. This allows one to experience thoughts, emotions, sounds and bodily sensations and not get lost in them. Find a comfortable, quiet place. Loosen clothes, remove glasses.

Sit in a CHAIR with your back straight, feet flat on floor and hands in your lap or at your sides, or sitting straight on the FLOOR cross-legged on a mat or pillow.
Close your eyes.
Take 5 – 10 deep breaths: Breathe in deeply through your nose to the count of 4, hold breath to the count of 2, and breathe out to the count of 5. Let your body relax.
Once relaxed, begin to breathe normally.


BEGIN TO FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH. Say to yourself the words “IN” on each INHALATION, and “OUT” on each EXHALATION. Keep focusing on these words and your breath during the meditation.
If you experience thoughts, emotions, sounds, or bodily sensations, don’t try to “clear your mind” and push them away. Instead allow and acknowledge them. “LABEL” each one as it occurs. Then each time, refocus on the breath and the words “in” and “out. This allows them to “trail off” and not distract you.

For example:
1 - When you begin to THINK about something, say the word “THINKING” to yourself. Then refocus on the breath and the words “in,” “out.”
2 - If you feel an EMOTION, “LABEL” it to yourself: Say, “angry,” “sad,” “happy,” etc.
Then refocus on the breath and the words “in,” “out.”
3 - If you hear a SOUND, say “HEARING” to yourself. Then refocus on the breath and the words “in,” “out.”
4 - If you feel a BODILY SENSATION, “LABEL” it to yourself. Say “pain,” “tension,” etc.
Then refocus on the breath and the words “in,” “out.”
Continuously repeat Steps 1 – 4 above throughout the meditation.

*** NOTE: Beginners may want to do Step 1 only, then add in Steps 2 – 4 each over a few weeks.
After 10 – 20 minutes of meditation, take 3 deep breaths. Bring your focus back to the present.
Open your eyes. Sit a few minutes. Get re-oriented.
Then stand up, and continue on with your day.

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