Tag Archive: relaxation

Apr 16

The Science of Slow Breathing

In an April 5, 2017 article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds reviews new research on the science of slow breathing and how this ancient technique may work to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and prevent panic attacks. The technique of controlled breathing or pranayama (प्राणायाम) is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita, and thus …

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May 26

Coming Home

Where does the mind go when it is not occupied by the worries, frustration, and anxiety? Does it go to a happy place, or are people naturally angry? According to Rick Hanson, PhD, the mind constantly fluctuates between a reactive and responsive state. When in the responsive state, the body is able to relax and …

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Mar 24

Awareness and Acceptance

The New York Times has had a series of well written articles on the topic of mindfulness. The most recent article notes that brain scans show that mindfulness can change the way our brains function, and help us improve attention, reduce stress hormones and even bounce back faster from negative information. The increased ability to bounce back from …

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Dec 08

Two Minute Meditation


Sometimes when we most need to get to the meditative or mindful state… it can be hardest to get there. For many people, being a bit energized.. with our thoughts going quickly, many ideas, drawn to many things… sounds are more profound, colors are brighter, smells and tastes are richer… is such a time. There …

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Nov 28

Stormy Weather

The first of the big winter storms blew through the Bay Area today.  Winds whipped up the already large waves and the pouring rain made it hard to see much more than a few feet in any direction. Of course, there were some hardy folk out there surfing anyway.  But we assume that most of …

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Oct 23

The Different Types of Vacations

This past weekend, we were at a Halloween party talking to a computer engineer who recently moved here from Holland.  The topic turned to a discussion of things that are unusual about Americans, in particular,  the American relationship to work and vacations.  We take less vacation than almost any industrialized country in the world.  Of …

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Sep 29

Sick of Vacation

Hard working professionals go on vacation and immediately get sick. This doesn’t happen just once, it is regular and reliable. What is going on? If this has happened to you, you are getting a crash course on the physiology of the body’s stress response system, and some of its flaws. It was developed to deal …

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Sep 23

Performance Anxiety

Fear of public speaking and performance anxiety are very common things. Probably almost all of us have had the experience of desperately wishing to relax before a presentation. This may be a situation where you should be careful of what you wish for.When I was younger I had a terrible fear of speaking in public. …

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Aug 27

Breathing Techniques

One of the oldest “self help” practices is based on breathing, changing how we breathe in order to reduce stress and to achieve a sense of connection with the world around us: Pranayama Yoga. Prana is the Sanskrit word for “breath” and also means “life.” Therefore, prana can be translated as “the breath of life” …

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Aug 19

Stress, Distress and Eustress

We met this afternoon with a delightful young man who said he was having more anxiety and depression because of all of the stressful things that he had to deal with. He gave us a list, and, perhaps because we are natural skeptics, we started to wonder whether that list really explained what was going …

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Jul 25


Many people we know report that beginning yoga and doing it consistently has been associated with periods of remarkable stability, energy and effectiveness. There are studies supporting yoga as an evidence based approach to the treatment of depression. But it is hard to figure out where to begin. At the end of this page are …

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Jul 13

The Best Relaxation Technique

OK, that may be an exaggeration. But it may not. In any event, Progressive Muscle Relaxation is the technique that we have had the most success with, and we have tried many of them. Many people we know use these techniques every night before lying down for sleep and find that it helps them to …

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