March 29, 2018

Relaxation reponse

One of the tools in our 'tool box' is awareness of the relaxation response, the opposite of the 'flight or fight response', drawing on a book by Herbert Benson M.D.

Learners with maths anxiety, and even some people we have met who suffer from severe general anxiety, ask 'why didnt anyone tell me about this before?'.

If a learner is feeling stressed or anxious, and/or is experiencing 'fight or flight', the learner can trigger the relaxation response in a short breathing exercise we teach called 5/7 breathing.

A more complete description is available to download free from, under 'The 60 Second Tranquiliser'.

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  1. Janet Baker

    Here in England , 11 year olds are just about to sit external examinations in English and mathematics. One of my pupils is getting very worried about her English grammar exam (I’m very glad that she is feeling confident about the mathematics!). So yesterday I taught her the relaxation response. She didn’t like the counting method, so we found some words that would work for her. She loves football so as she breathes in she is going to repeat “Goal!” and remember the success of scoring a goal. As she breathes out she is going to repeat “calm” and feel her body softening. I have suggested that she does this before every practise test this week. I hope it will help her.

    01 May 2018, 10:02

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