I recently rediscovered Autogenic Training, which is an effective technique for reducing stress and anxiety and the onset of panic attacks. It is a simple technique but works really well to restore the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. If that sounds complicated, let’s just say it’s very relaxing!
If you feel like giving it a go, follow the instructions below. Leave a comment and let me know how you got on :-)
Each session should last 5 minutes max but can be repeated several times daily. It is important to end each session with the instruction “cancel” accompanied by a simultaneous contraction of arms and legs (unless Autogenic Training is practised before going to sleep). The advice is to develop each of the 6 states in part 1 before attempting the next state.
As you lie quietly with your eyes closed, repeat each of the following steps 5 times in your head, and after the fifth time use the affirmation “I am completely calm”. After each step move on to the next one and repeat the process. Work through the 6 steps in order and you should feel gradually more relaxed as the steps progress.
- My right arm is heavy
- My right arm is warm
- My heart beats calmly and regularly
- My breathing is calm and regular
- My abdomen is flowingly warm
- My forehead is pleasantly cool
Self affirmation – e.g. “Tonight I will sleep deeply and restfully”