Enjoy a 10-Minute guided concentration exercise.

The 10-Minute Relaxation Plan

By learning to consciously relax your mind and body you can reduce the level of stress in your life. Stress is the major cause of heart disease and can lead to unhealthy habits. Check out our Lifestyle for the 21st Century for some suggestion regarding daily habits to reduce stress.

In just 10 minutes a day you can consciously reduce stress and bring peace and harmony into your system. The Focus-Relax-Peace CD offers you 4 10-minute guided meditations with soothing background music. The following is a script that you can print out and adapt for your own use. Remember: daily practice is the key to learning the art of relaxation and focusing of the mind. It is just like developing any skill: it takes practice. A healthy mind is the result of regular effort. Here goes:

The first step is to find a comfortable but alert position. If you do this exercise lying down you will most likely fall asleep. Sit up either in a chair or on the floor- to learn the exercise. Your position should be firm but pleasant. Let your hands rest on your thighs or lap. Gently close your eyes or keep them slightly open if you start to fall asleep. Try to keep your eyes still: focusing on a single point. Now focus on your breath; if possible breath in and out through your nose- it is easier to be conscious of your breathing as it moves through your nose. If you are congested use your mouth as much as necessary to compensate. Now come the key to the exercise: each time you breath in you are going to focus on a particular area of your body; as you exhale consciously release and relax the muscles in that area. It is as simple as that: breath in awareness, release tension as you exhale. The results will amaze you!

Begin by breathing in an awareness of the muscles in your forehead; release those muscles as you exhale. Devote 7 or 8 breaths to each area. The majority of your daily

stress is held in your forehead, around your eyes, in your cheeks and jaw and in the back of your neck and shoulders. Each of these area s will take you 30 seconds to 2 minutes to relax.

You can extend your relaxation technique- and I highly recommend this- to your chest muscles and the muscles in your abdomen. These are two areas where we take quite a bit of our deeper emotional stress. This is clearly documented through heart disease and ulcers. Remember: your heart is a muscle and your body reacts to your state of mind. You can also use this technique to relax groups of muscles in your back, arms, hands, legs and feet.

Once you have relaxed specific areas of your body I suggest spending a minute of two and allow yourself to fell the sensation of being relaxed. The more you can impress this feeling upon your mind and body the more easily you will be able to enter and maintain that relaxed state of body and mind.

Remember: regular, daily practice is the key to learning this skill.

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