Ever Heard of Autogenic Training? No? It’s Pretty Cool!
Autogenic just means generated from within. This technique was developed by Johannes Heinrich Schultz around the early 1930s and involves visualizing heat and heaviness in an attempt to relax yourself completely. It also involves canceling out the states of heat and heaviness. Cancelling should be learned first because autogenic effects are generated from within and cause physical states to occur that need to be undone when you come out of the exercise. I’ll paraphrase the exercise that can be found in greater detail at autoaura.com
Before You Start, Do This:
Tell yourself to tense your arms, then move your arms vigorously. Tell yourself to breathe deeply, then do it. Lastly, tell yourself to open your eyes, then do so. This will bring you out of the autogenic relaxed state.
Steps to use Autogenic Training:
Sit or lie down comfortably become aware of your body.
Tell yourself that your right arm is heavy, then feel it get heavy, repeat with the left arm, right leg, left leg, shoulders, and neck. Do this until you feel very heavy. About 6 times each. Get the heaviness down before moving on to step 3.
Tell yourself that each part you made heavy is also very warm. Focus on one part at a time. Do this until you actually feel warm. Get the warmth down before moving on to step 4.
Tell yourself that your hearbeat is warm and regular, and do it until you feel it.
Tell yourself that your solar plexus is warm, and repeat a few times until you feel it.
Tell yourself that your forehead is cool, and do so until you feel it.
Tell yourself that you are at peace, and feel it.
Stay relaxed for a while.
Do This When You Are Done
Use the canceling procedure on every part that you relaxed. Feel it come alive before moving on to the next part. This is important as you can really lose awareness of your body as you go deep into this. It works, but make sure you cancel after doing it. It’s very important to cancel.
The Next Section discusses Deep Breathing.