Resilience Pathway #114: Relaxation Response

What typically triggers your stress? For me, it is things like negative newscasts and technology problems (email or printer errors). Being aware of the things that trigger your personal stress can help you manage it and even reduce it. As you begin to feel stress it is common for your blood pressure to rise, your heart may begin to beat faster and you may feel muscle tension to name a few. 

Once you become aware of your body’s stressful response to a situation, person, or place, try the relaxation response. Herbert Benson, MD, of Harvard University and author of The Relaxation Response, developed this technique that has been proven to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

So the moment you notice your stress, try these steps. First, move to a quiet place where you can get comfortable. Take full, deep, but natural breaths in through your nose, and then out through your mouth. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on relaxing every muscle in your body beginning with your feet and then progressively moving up through your body all the way to the top of your head.

Then, silently repeat a personally meaningful focus phrase like, “I am calm.” with each exhale. Be sure to bracket any distracting thoughts and redirect your focus back to your breath and your phrase. Stay with this technique for five minutes.

Coaching Inquiries: What triggers your stress? Where do you carry your stress in your body? When do you notice your stress? How often do you stop once you notice your stress and begin to focus your attention on reducing your stress? 

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. If you are interested in learning more about how you can partner with a LifeTrek coach to enhance your resilience, please Email Christina or use the Contact Form to arrange for a complimentary coaching session.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-332-9747
Fax: 415-634-2301

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