What Are Some Specific Examples Of Mind-Body Techniques, And Do I Need To Do Them Every Day For Me To Get Any Benefit?

David Rakel, M.D., Wisconsin

Question: What are some specific examples of mind-body techniques, and do I need to do them every day for me to get any benefit?

Answer:There are a number of different mind-body techniques, everywhere from self-hypnosis to guided imagery to meditation. And just like anything, practice makes perfect. And practice also makes neural pathways. It's better to do one of these techniques 5 minutes a day versus just 40 minutes on the weekends because the more you practice it, the more our brain changes.

So, for example, let's say I just do a meditation each day on the word 'peace.' And I focus on that word. If my mind wanders, I gently bring my mind back to the word 'peace.' If I do that every single day, the electrical processes in my brain start to develop more neural networks that are consistent with that emotion of peace, and I start to slowly change my brain.

And so, it takes some time and practice just like anything that results in any benefit. We have to create the intention that we want to do it in order for us to change.

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