Harvard Women's Health Watch

Eliciting the relaxation response

Whether you're having trouble sleeping at night or are feeling stressed out during the day, practicing the relaxation response can help your mind and body to shift gears. The technique, developed by Dr. Herbert Benson at the Harvard Medical School Research, has been shown to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension.

Select a word, sound, short phrase—such as "one" or "peace"—or a prayer to focus on.

Sit quietly in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

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