7 Ways Autogenic Training Promotes Calmer Living

autogenic training

Learn the benefits of practicing autogenic training

Are you looking for natural ways to live a calmer life? Hoping to teach yourself relaxation skills? Trying to avoid pills to keep your anxiety in check?

If the answer is yes, you may want to learn about autogenic training (AT). While the term may sound fancy, autogenic training is a relaxation technique designed to encourage inner-peace while lowering stress levels.

This approach to calmness was first introduced in 1932 by a German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz. He noticed that when hypnotizing people, patients entered a relaxed state where they experienced sensations of mind-body wellness.

At its core, AT involves repeating a series of self-affirmations about heaviness and warmth with a focus on different body parts. In this way, a person can positively influence their autonomic nervous system.

Like the name implies, autogenic means to generate from within. While similar to progressive muscle relaxation, the two aren’t the same. That’s because autogenic training uses your own suggestions as part of the process.

Many people consider AT a form of self-hypnosis. Others think of it as mindful meditation. Regardless, it’s considered best practice to engage in this activity at least once a day over a 21-day period.

Here is a link to A Guide to Psychology that walks you through the basics of AT. As a resource for learning, I’m also including a video below.

Now, let’s move on to 7 ways autogenic training promotes calmer living.

1. May reduce social anxiety

If you struggle with social anxiety, you already know the difficulty involved with being around large groups. AT may benefit you in several ways.

Here’s how:

  • Helping you to become centered and relaxed before an event.
  • Creating a mental picture of confidence.
  • Reducing feelings of panic and stress.

2. Increases power in your workouts

If you are trying to increase the power of your muscles or experience a more mindful workout, AT could give you the extra boost you need.

This is accomplished by:

  • Teaching yourself to regulate breathing.
  • Encouraging more oxygen flow to your muscles.
  • Helping you to remain centered and focused prior to working out.

3. Ameliorates post traumatic anxiety

Have you been through a traumatic event? Struggling with PTSD? Are you trying to soothe your nerves and calm your mind? If so, AT may be a helpful approach.

This is accomplished by:

  • Training yourself to focus your thoughts on the here and now.
  • Reducing the “fight or flight” stress response.
  • Creating a mental inner-sanctum of peace and tranquility.

4. Helps with phobias and fears

Do you have a phobic response to objects, places or things? When in their presence, does fear rule? Should the answer be yes, AT could offer certain benefits.

This is accomplished by:

  • Increasing rational dialogue
  • Helping to desensitize you to fear-provoking stimuli
  • Lowering your stress levels prior to exposure therapy

5. Lowers blood-pressure

Do you have a history of high blood pressure? Has your doctor encouraged you to engage in relaxation techniques? Looking for an easy approach? AT might be a great option to consider, according to research.

You may benefit by:

  • Learning to regulate your heart rate
  • Training yourself a self-calming technique during times of stress.
  • Helping to keep your blood pressure low throughout the day.

6. Assists with recovery from addiction

Are you currently walking the path of sobriety? Need an activity that encourages the mind-body connection? Trying to gain inner strength? If the answer is yes, AT could be exactly what you are looking for.

You may benefit by:

  • Calming yourself during withdraw
  • Teaching yourself stress-reduction skills
  • Desensitizing yourself to alcohol or drug-related triggers

7. Encourages greater intimacy

Do you want to be closer to your mate? Are you trying to encourage more meaning behind touch? Need something natural that works and doesn’t require chemical stimulation? If so, then AT could be your new best friend.

This is accomplished by:

  • Increasing awareness of touch and sound
  • Focusing your thoughts on the present
  • Repeating affirmations to yourself that increase self-confidence. In turn, this increases pleasure.

Learning more about autogenic training

I encourage you to learn all that you can about autogenic training. There are many more applications for this approach to wellness that aren’t listed above.

For example, AT is also used as a coping tool for pain management. There is a great book available on Amazon by Sadigh and Moore on this topic you might want to consider.

Remember, if you begin to incorporate AT into your life, aim for regularity. Experts suggest a commitment of 21-days for positive changes to take hold.

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About John D. Moore 341 Articles
Dr. John Moore is a licensed counselor and Editor-in-Chief of Guy Counseling. A journalist and blogger, he writes about a variety of topics related to wellness. His interests include technology, outdoor activities, science, and men's health. Check out his podcast --> Guy Counseling Radio