‘There are many paths to the top of the mountain hut when we get there we all see the same moon.’ (Old Japanese martial arts proverb)

There are lots of different forms of meditation, or mental relaxation exercises, and all of them work. If you have one that you are particularly fond of, by all means use it. If not, try this one. I have had great success with it.

For maximum results it pays to do the mental relaxation exercises directly after the deep breathing exercises. The breathing exercises are relaxing exercises in their own right and prepare the body for meditation. Try and do the mental relaxation exercises twice per day. If that’s not possible, do them once. I’d rather you have the extra sleep than see you getting up too early to fit them in. Some patients prefer to do the breathing exercises in the morning and the mental relaxation ones at night, before bed, or during the afternoon at work. As you become more proficient at them you’ll be able to do them anywhere—on the train, waiting at the bus stop or in the dentist’s chair (no kidding, I did it once, and had a tooth drilled without an injection—didn’t feel a thing). Most people find it easy to fit the mental relaxation exercises in after the deep breathing on the weekend when they have more time.

Try and do the exercises every day if you can but don’t upset yourself if you can’t. Getting stressed out over missing a session or two defeats the purpose of doing them. Because life is unpredictable, circumstances that interfere with your routine will always arise. Don’t worry about it. Some weeks you will be able to do the exercise every day, other weeks you will only fit them in three or so times. That’s fine, so long as you keep patiently plugging away, the cumulative effects of your persistence will, in time, manifest. You won’t slip back by missing a few sessions. The important thing is not to become fanatical. Fanaticism begets stress. Take your time, the inevitability of gradualness will reward you with the level of well-being you are seeking.


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