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Condensed from an article by Dennis Thompson in the Philly Enquirer

Mindfulness has become a billion-dollar industry. Countless practitioners and more than 1,500 smartphone apps promise to help people become calm and focused despite the turbulence surrounding them. It is touted as a cure-all for many modern ills, from stress and pain to depression.

In a new paper, Willoughby Britton, director of Brown University’s clinical and affective neuroscience laboratory. and 14 other experts say it’s time to replace the hype with serious scientific rigor.

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logo-shanti-montpellier-meditation-relaxationCondensed from Harvard Health Publications

A relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. It’s a state of profound rest that can be elicited in many ways. With regular practice, you create a well of calm to dip into as the need arises.

Here Are The Four Suggestions:

Breath focus. In this simple, powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations. This technique may not be appropriate for those with health problems that make breathing difficult, such as respiratory ailments or heart failure.

Body scan. This technique blends breath focus with progressive muscle relaxation. After a few minutes of deep breathing, you focus on one part of the body or group of muscles at a time and mentally releasing any physical tension you feel there.

Guided imagery. For this technique, you conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus. You can find free apps and online recordings of calming scenes—just make sure to choose imagery you find soothing and that has personal significance.

Mindfulness meditation. This practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind’s attention to the present moment without drifting into concerns about the past or the future. Read more.








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