When we encounter stress, our bodies instinctively enter the fight-or-flight mode. This evolutionary mechanism, enabling us to fight, fly or freeze in the face of danger, was an essential survival tool for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. But in today's fast-paced world, our lives occupied with busy schedules, personal challenges and global crises, we tend to experience persistent and prolonged tension in both our minds and bodies at the high cost of a range of health problems and mental illnesses. Unfortunately, we can’t eliminate the demands and pressures of the modern world, but we can counteract their harm with intentional regulation and relaxation; we can go from stress-on to stress-off.
In this episode of Mentally Stronger, I explore Dr. Herbert Benson’s The Relaxation Response, a transition from a state of stress to one of relaxation said to help prevent and compensate for the damage incurred by frequent nervous reactions in our bodies. I provide three exercises that, when practised regularly and deliberately, help you find balance and train your body and mind to naturally default to a relaxed state.