Six simple autogenic training exercises, proposed in the 1930s by Johann Schultz, are designed to immerse a person in a state of relaxation. It promotes effective recuperation and opens the way to more complete self-control.
The training is based on self-hypnosis. It is believed that every person has this ability.
First of all, according to Professor Schultz, you need to convince yourself that the autogenous technique can be mastered. Any doubt about oneself or about training gets in the way. It is good when you are neutral, but it is much better if you are positive.
It is important that during autogenic training no one bothers you, you feel calm and comfortable. Lock yourself in the room, draw the curtains, turn off the phone. Perhaps in a few weeks you will become so comfortable that you can do these exercises in crowded places. For example, at work during your lunch break or on your way home.
Practice for 10-20 minutes. Do not use a timer or alarm to check the time. After all, for this you have to open your eyes. After graduation, do not get up immediately, sit quietly with your eyes closed, then – with open ones.
Exercise 1: feeling heavy
Lying with your eyes closed, physically feel first the concept “I am completely calm”, and then – “my left hand is heavy.” The hand should feel heavy and spread throughout the body. Do this exercise for one minute. Then bend your elbows and take 2-3 deep breaths.
Repeat the exercise, starting to draw the mental image “my right arm is heavy.”
Exercise 2: feeling warm
Repeat the previous exercise, alternately creating a sensation of warmth in the right and left hands. It appears due to the expansion of blood vessels. And the feeling of heaviness arises from muscle relaxation. Both the first and the second are integral components of the relaxation reaction. This is why autogenic training is considered an effective way to deal with stress.
Exercise 3: regulating heart activity
Put your hand on your heart. Repeat four times: “My heart beats evenly and calmly.” Feel the rhythm of your heart.
Passive concentration on the heartbeat during autogenic training helps to reduce the heart rate. The exercise is mastered if the pulsation is felt in the hands and throughout the body.
Exercise 4: breath control
Repeat the phrase “I breathe absolutely lightly” four times. Focus on breathing calmly and evenly without effort. The exercise can be considered completed if the breathing becomes soothing, the impression appears that “it is breathing by itself.”
Exercise 5: Relax your abdominals
Concentrate on the solar plexus area (between the navel and the sternum). Feel the concept of “my solar plexus is warm-warm.” You will soon feel as if you are heavy, as if you are in a hot bath. You are calm and comfortable, you feel the harmonious rhythm of your heartbeat and breathing.
Exercise 6: cold forehead
Do the first five exercises, then focus on the “My forehead is pleasantly cool” attitude for a few seconds. Increase the concentration time each time until you feel the cool breeze. Gradually, the vessels will constrict, making your forehead feel colder than other parts of your body.
As you gain experience, you can create all of these sensations in just a couple of minutes. Yet it will take several months of regular practice to achieve this level of proficiency. Exercise at least once a day if possible.
About the expert: Johann Heinrich Schulz (1884-1970), German psychiatrist and psychotherapist. The processes of self-discharge developed by him, based on self-hypnosis, are accepted throughout the world.