Q: I'm a nervous wreck! Is there a simple relaxation method or technique you can suggest?
A: Relaxation is something that can be practiced by all of us, especially in this noisy, stressful, and frantically plugged-in world. Here's a simple relaxation tip you can use daily:
2. Sit comfortably in a chair, with your back and legs fully supported, and your hands resting comfortably on your thighs.
3. Either close your eyes, or pick a spot on the floor to focus on.
4. Breathe in through your nose, concentrating on filling up your entire abdomen (if you are having trouble and tend to fill up your chest area, do this exercise lying down).
5. Next, blow the air out very slowly through your mouth, as if cooling off some very hot soup on a small spoon without spilling a drop.
6. Repeat this 10 times while focusing on your breath.
7. Do this twice a day, perferably at the same time of day, or as needed.
This is simple, fast and highly effective. The more you practice it, the more effective it will become.
When you cannot find time alone, take a few minutes to stop and "smell the flowers" which means connecting to and appreciating the things and people physically in front of you (rather than the TV, computer, phone, etc.). Doing so will provide a much-needed release of tension and refocus you on the present moment.
If you want to read a good (and classic) book on the subject, check out The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, M.D. -- Greg Cason, PhD