Help with:

Emotional Problems
Self Esteem
Anxiety
Abuse
Fear
Rejection
Motivation
Stress
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Smoking Cessation
Weight Control
Behavioural Problems
Anger Management
Cravings
Relationships
Phobias
Painful Memories
Exam Performance
Sports Focus
Public Speaking
Communication
Goal Setting
Pain Control
Personal Growth

Relaxed-Awareness

The greatest advantages received from Relaxed-Awareness (RA) come when we just let them happen. If we try to be too analytical about the process the full benefits become hindered. Most people who have practised RA regularly notice a definite feeling of being calmer, more self-assured and able to get things done more quickly and more effectively.

Relaxed-Awareness is a technique which permits the mind to become quiet - less excited. And as the mind becomes stilled so the body follows suit. It is a time for re-charging our mental and physical resources and when each session is completed we come back to the world with far greater energy and efficiency. We don't have to believe in it for it to work. We simply do the technique and the effects follow automatically.
 
Today, infectious diseases are not the major world killers - 'stress diseases' are! Many of the medical profession believe that over 75% of illnesses have stress at their root and over 50% of all deaths are from stress-related disorders. Doctors in the UK write 60 million plus prescriptions a year for tranquillizers and anti-depressants. But these only suppress the symptoms. They do not remove the stress, nor enable us to cope with it in a healthy way. Sooner or later, it will reappear in perhaps some other form.

So, how can we relax? It's not as easy as it sounds. We can raise our blood pressure very quickly by thinking of something frightening, but we can't lower it as fast. And the more tense we are the harder it is to relax. So we'll become even more anxious. In Relaxed-Awareness there is no deliberate attempt to relax. We're just telling ourselves that we are well and at peace with ourselves as we become aware of each part of our body in turn. The internal process happens by itself. Also, by practising the trigger spot throughout the day we learn to neutralise stressful situations as they arise.

Physiological research shows that techniques such as Relaxed Awareness work in the exact opposite way to that by which the body accumulates stress. In a stressful situation the heart rate increases, breathing speeds up, the blood pressure rises and we have an increase in physiological excitement. RA on the other hand, slows the heart, decreases breathing, reduces blood pressure and brings about greater relaxation. Relaxed-Awareness neutralises tension as it occurs without decreasing mental alertness or sensitivity.

Practising RA once or twice a day leads to an overall improvement in health, greater clarity of thought, better use of personal resources, more efficient action and greater resilience to additional stress. The most important thing to remember when practicing RA is just to let the body do its own thing and enjoy it!!

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF RELAXED-AWARENESS

It is generally accepted in modern psychology that for every mental change, for each thought, experience, desire and feeling, there is a corresponding activity or change in the brain. Likewise for every physiological change and activity in the brain there is a corresponding change in mental activity. Therefore everything that happens in our brains affects us mentally in some way.

Research suggests that it takes about a tenth of a second for the brain to generate a conscious experience. In neurological terms this is a long time. One neuron can excite another neuron in one thousandth of a second and as each neuron interacts with possibly a thousand or more others almost simultaneously things can become pretty complex in a tenth of a second. This complexity is not restricted to the number of neurons involved but in the complexity of their organisation and structure.

Relaxed-Awareness helps to still the mind. There is no conscious controlling on the part of the meditator to reach this state of stillness. The mind becomes still automatically during the awareness stages. Were we to try to control the mind then mental activity would increase and hinder the pathway to balance. It's like trying to go to sleep. If we worry about it, we won't drop off. But if we let our mind wander where it wants, sleep will invariably come without us realising it.

Relaxed-Awareness leads our minds into becoming still so that at the final awareness stage, that of the spirit being well, we are lead into the fullness of balance. Remember, we do not need to believe in RA for it to work. Providing we do the exercises as described, the beneficial effects will be felt. The body can't help but follow its' primeval instructions.

 
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF RELAXED-AWARENESS

The body consumes energy at a certain rate. This is called the metabolic rate and the more energy we use, the higher our metabolic rate. When practising Relaxed-Awareness metabolic rate reduces.

Other changes which occur during RA is the decrease in heart rate by about 5 beats a minute together with a 25% decrease in the amount of blood pumped out by the heart. Both these changes indicate that the heart's work load is being reduced. Blood pressure also decreases and this is directly related to the reduction in stress which this technique achieves. All these changes carry over into our ordinary lives and it shows that those who practice RA will be more relaxed during the day.
 
Brain studies with EEG machines have shown a relaxed but alert state of mental functioning during RA. In addition, changes to the electrical activity of the skin indicate a decrease in anxiety and an increase in stability and adaptability. Also there is a general improvement to health, a decrease in insomnia, relief from asthma, decrease in the use of prescribed and non-prescribed drugs, improved mind-body co-ordination, growth in creativity and intelligence and improved interpersonal relationships.

When we focus our attention on some interesting mental task, the broad spectrum of brain activity ranges from 2 or 3 cycles per second (cps) up to 30 or 40 cps. This is called desynchronised activity. When we are not focusing on anything in particular and the brain is doing its own thing most of us indicate a brain wave of 8 to 10 cps. This is called alpha-activity and is registered on wave pattern machines as being particularly pronounced at the back of the head.

During Relaxed-Awareness we have an abundance of alpha-activity. This is not unusual as out attention is relaxed. We are just being aware rather than concentrating on the body parts. Brain activity in this state tends to take place at about 8cps, slower than normal, and of larger amplitude. It also spreads further forward throughout the head to cover the whole of the brain area rather than just remaining at the rear as is normal. At the same time these alpha waves become synchronised. This means they take the same form irrespective of which area of the scalp is being monitored. The brain has become balanced.
 
The benefits of meditation were well known over a thousand years ago when it was written, 'All men, especially the busy, secular, as well as the religious should be taught meditation for it is a refuge to which one can retreat when faced with stressful situations.'

There are many factors which give rise to human stress and a great number of books have been written on this subject. The problem with stress is that it builds up over time and is very often unnoticed until it is too late. We therefore become unaware of the damage being incurred and the more stressed we become the weaker the body becomes and the less able we are to cope with further stress. So, a vicious circle begins which winds us up until, like an elastic band stretched too far - we snap! We break down, mentally and physically with disastrous results.

Relaxed-Awareness assists in reversing the effects of stress, thereby preventing such disasters. It trains the body to react ON DEMAND, and when this is achieved, we have added a new automatic body function to those that have been with us since before Man first stood up on two legs. The result of all this is that we can prevent many of the adverse physiological and psychological changes from beginning until we are ready for them to happen. In other words, RA enables us to decide what stress is good for us and what is not.

Continually practising RA increases our resistance to unwanted stress. It also helps in the faster adaptation of changes to our external environment. With Relaxed-Awareness we are able to keep ahead of the rapidly changing world that is the twenty-first century.

For a downloadable copy of my Relaxed-Awareness CD, please click the button...... and let me know how you get on with it. Many thanks.