Q. What is this Relaxation Response I keep hearing about?

A. Think of the Relaxation Response as a type of meditation or prayer. Named by Dr. Herbert Benson, there are four easy steps that you can implement to break the stress cycle and provide benefits to your brain, immune system, and health.

  1. Find a quiet place
  2. Get in a comfortable position (e.g., sitting)
  3. Select a positive thought to ponder
  4. Do this for ten minutes and then return to your duties

In a recent study of the link between use of the Relaxation Response and gene expression, in which Herbert Benson MD was the co-senior author of the report, researchers found that although study participants elicited the Relaxation Response through many different techniques (including forms of meditation, prayer, or yoga), all forms were effective.