Introduction to Mind-Body Relaxation

Stress and tension are the main preventable causes of unhappiness and illness. They poison your relationships, self-esteem, health, and happiness. They are also obstacles to change because when you're tense, you tend to repeat what is familiar and wrong, instead of what's new and right.

Mind-body relaxation is not just a way to relax, it is a way to improve your life. You relax by letting go of negative traits that make you tense. Relaxation is all about letting go. You let go of tension, the past, and negative thinking that contribute to your unhappiness. Letting go is what elevates mind-body relaxation from a technique to a coping skill.

Relax your body and your mind will follow. The key to relaxation is – do not try to relax your mind. Your body and mind relax as a unit. Since it’s hard to relax your mind, the approach of mind-body relaxation is to relax your body first. If you relax your body, your mind will follow because they are in constant communication. Try this simple one-minute exercise.

If you did this simple exercise, you’re already breathing more slowly and feeling more relaxed. What’s amazing is how quickly you can relax once you know how. This exercise has shown you how to become grounded and centered. You become grounded by scanning your body, and feeling your skin on the ground. You become centered by turning your focus into your body and away from your tension.

A typical relaxation session is 20 to 40 minutes. Start with 10 minutes a day, and try adding 10 minutes a week. You can divide sessions into two. If 20 to 40 minutes sounds like a long time, consider how much time you waste feeling anxious or angry on a daily basis. There are three basic relaxation postures. You can relax lying down, sitting on the floor, or sitting in a chair. The same technique works with each posture.

If you reduce your stress, you will feel happier, and that feeling will spill over into the rest of your life.


There are no restrictions on the printing of this document. It is provided as a public service by For a more complete guide to mind-body relaxation refer to the book "I Want to Change My Life" by Dr. Steven M. Melemis.