MeditationMeditation involves focusing on something unchanging (such as a spot on the wall) or somethingrepetitive (such as repeating a word—a mantra). To use the meditation technique taught bycardiologist Herbert Benson to elicit what Benson calls the relaxation response, repeat the word“one” (or some word you find calming) in your mind every time you exhale. Continue doing thisfor 20 minutes. When you realize your mind has wandered, merely return to repeating the word.ImageryImagery can be guided or unguided. When guided, someone else determines which image you shouldkeep in mind when trying to relax. When unguided, you decide what image would be relaxing. Ifpossible, it is best to choose your own image since you have a better idea of what you find relaxingthan does someone else. Some images that people generally find relaxing are sunshine warming thebody, a day at the beach, a rippling lake, a walk in the woods, the surf rolling on the shore, birdsflying through the air, a carpeted room warmed by a fire, and a sailboat floating on the water.
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