Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Feeling Anxious? Try the Relaxation Response

Story by Randy Fishell

God designed the human mind, body and spirit to work together. That means when something goes wrong in one area, it can affect another part of the body—including the brain. This integration has a positive side: We can also tap into one area to stimulate relief and healing in another part.

Herb Benson, M.D., has shown how the “relaxation response” can calm a person’s anxiety. This technique uses slow breathing that immediately slows the heart rate and soothes the nerves.

Similarly, the right kind of “mind relaxation” can be extremely helpful. While the term “meditation” has negative associations, the Bible is clear about turning thoughts toward Him and His Word during times of distress.

There are also muscle relaxing techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation that can help train the entire body to respond in more peaceful ways. There’s no “hocus-pocus” or Eastern religion involved in these therapies, so readers may wish to consider them as helpful additions to a healing protocol.

See Dr. Benson's video here.

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