18 Feb Learn to Relax with Autogenic Training
Everyone has stress and we all need ways to cope. Continual stress is hard on our bodies and can cause many serious health issues – in fact, nearly everybody system is affected by stress! There are many relaxation techniques that can help you to manage the many health conditions related to stress including anxiety, pain, insomnia, nausea, and chronic headaches. It is time to learn to relax.
I Cannot Just Learn to Relax!
Believe it or not, you can! Your brain is a powerful and ever-changing organ. By taking time to teach our bodies to let go, release muscle tension, and re-oxygenate, we can train our bodies to respond differently to the signals they receive.
What is Autogenic Training? Does it Work?
The word Autogenic means “self-generated” and autogenic training is a technique you can do on your own to teach your body how to relax. The purpose of autogenic training (and most relaxation techniques) is to slow your breathing and blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being. Autogenic training was developed by German psychologist Johannes Heinrich Schultz in the 1920s to give patients a way to gain control of the physical expressions of stress. It often used alongside cognitive-behavioral therapy but using this technique alone can effectively manage stress. Studies have shown that relaxation techniques like autogenic training “consistently and significantly reduce some symptoms of anxiety”
Sign Me Up! How Do I Do It?
- Find a quiet, comfortable place. While you are learning, it helps to always do it in the same place, but after some practice, you can use this technique anywhere, anytime.
- Slow your breathing to a calm, even pace. As your breath gets under control tell yourself, “I am completely calm” and keep breathing slowly.
- Focus on your body or an image of your body. Start with your dominant hand and think to yourself, “My hand is relaxed. It feels very heavy.” You will feel your hand become heavy.
- Move to different parts of your body using the same pattern. Keep your breath slow and even and focus on the part of your body you are thinking of. Your hand, that arm, the other hand, the other arm, one foot, one leg, the other foot, and the other leg. Don’t forget to think of your face – relax your eyebrows, your eyeballs, and your jaw.
- Your mind will wander. That is okay – just return your thoughts to slow your breath and resume where you left off. Don’t be discouraged. Your mind will learn to focus with practice.
- Shift your attention to your heart. While breathing deeply, say to yourself, “My heartbeat is calm and regular. I am completely calm and relaxed”
Practice – Practice – Practice
It is really important to practice this technique when you are not overwhelmed. Practice 2-4 times daily and you will find that in time, you can calm your breathing and heart rate even in difficult situations.
Is stress overwhelming your life and you need more help?
If you are feeling that life is hopeless, you are worthless, or nothing makes you happy make an appointment to see your doctor or make an appointment to see a Sabe Wellness doctor today.