Autogenic Training – Teach yourself to relax

autogenic training

Are you stressed and feeling exhausted and without energy? Your daily life leaves its mark. Do something good for yourself more often! Autogenic training allows you to relax yourself and your body.

What is Autogenic Training?

Did you know that autogenic training is a method of self-relaxation ? The method was developed in the 1930s by neurologist Johannes H. Schulz. The basic principle is the dependence on mind and body If your mind is not good, then your body is not good. And vice versa.

With a kind of self-hypnosis you bring your body into a state of relaxation. You do this by auto-suggestion . You repeat the same simple sentences in your head, for example “My right arm is getting heavy”. Through your mental imagination you transfer this to your body until your right arm feels heavy.

The purpose of the individual exercises is to relax muscles circulation heart rate and breathing . You harmonize your inner self – and find your inner center .

The training

The training consists of 2 levels , the basic level and the advanced level. The basic level concerns the autonomic nervous system and the function of the organs. It is mostly used for relaxation . It takes some practice for the relaxation to work. The more you practice, the faster you can reach a state of relaxation .

The advanced level affects the subconscious areas. It is often used for mental illness with the help of a therapist.

The basic level training takes about 20-30 minutes . You can use it in all situations. You repeat the individual formulas until the desired body condition presents itself (at least 5 times).

The training ends with a conscious awakening . During this so-called taking back you take yourself back from a deep relaxation, so that you can continue with your daily life. An exception to this is the training before going to sleep .

What Are the Benefits of Autogenic Training?

The better you can surrender to the autogenic training, the greater its effect. In addition to the mental relaxation effect , you can also relax muscles and lower your heart rate. Your breathing becomes calmer and deeper. Your blood vessels dilate. Your blood circulation improves and your digestion is stimulated.

Autogenic training can help with many complaints . For example, you can use it to:

  • Reduce stress
  • To avoid stress
  • Better to fall asleep
  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Soothe pain
  • Get stomach and intestinal problems under control
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improve your circulation
  • Relieve headaches and migraines
  • Relieve tension and back pain
  • You relax
  • Get your fear of failure under control

The basic level: exercises and method

The basic level focuses on the physical functions . The whole body should become heavy and warm. Your heartbeat and breathing should calm down. A feeling of warmth should spread in your stomach area (in the so-called “solar plexus”) and a feeling of cold in your forehead. The basic level consists of 6 exercises :

  • Gravity exercise
  • Heat exercise
  • Breathing exercise
  • Heart exercise
  • Solar plexus exercise
  • Head exercise

You start with a rest phase. Take a comfortable position for yourself . For example, if you are lying in bed, you can relax on your back. When you are in the office, you can support yourself with your elbows on your thighs. Your upper body falls slightly forward. This position is called the “coachman’s position” . You start the rest phase with the formula: “I am calm”.

# 1 The heaviness exercise

Possible formulas: “My right / left arm is heavy”, “My whole body is heavy”.

The heaviness exercise ensures that your muscles relax . You focus on one part of your body, such as your arm, and imagine it gradually gaining weight. But you don’t move your arm.
If your arm is heavy, move on to the next body part. Little by little, your muscles relax. A feeling of relaxation spreads through your body. Your muscles can now be better supplied with blood.

# 2 The heat exercise

Possible formula: “My right / left arm is pleasantly warm”.

You imagine your arm slowly getting warmer. Little by little, you expand this to your entire body. Until your whole body feels warm. The purpose of the heat exercise is to dilate your arteries and blood vessels. Your whole body should have better blood circulation .

# 3. The breathing exercise

Possible formula: “I breathe calmly and evenly”.

The purpose of the breathing exercise is to relax more deeply by inhaling and exhaling evenly and calmly. Your breathing gets deeper and changes from chest breathing to belly breathing.

# 4 The heart exercise

Possible formula: “My heart beats quietly”.

In this exercise you focus on your heart rate. Your heart rate and pulse normalize . During the exercise, your entire focus is on your heart rate.

# 5 The solar plexus exercise

Possible formula: “My stomach area is very warm”.

The solar plexus is a network of nerves in your upper abdomen. It regulates the important functions of your digestive organs . The exercise is designed to relax and harmonize your internal organs, especially your stomach and intestines, and ensure that blood flow improves. The production of stomach acid is regulated and also the bowel movement improves.

# 6 The main exercise

Possible formula: “My forehead is pleasantly cool”.

The last exercise of the basic level is the main exercise. The exercise will help you relax your facial muscles. Headaches can also disappear with this exercise.

 # 7 End

At the end of the autogenic training, you take yourself back. Taking this back is important so that you don’t have to go about your daily routine feeling dazed or tired. For example, you can say out loud the following formula: “My body is strong.” My eyes are open! ”. During this exercise you can and should consciously and actively contract your body.

If you are in bed and want to go to sleep after the exercises, you can skip taking it back.

Learning Autogenic Training

There are many books apps and podcasts about autogenic training. There you can learn the techniques yourself . We recommend that you learn the relaxation technique from a professional . For example, you can participate in group or individual sessions. You can find addresses for this online, through your health insurer or doctor.


  • With autogenic training you can relax anywhere! Whether during your lunch break or at home.
  • In addition to relaxation, autogenic training has many positive effects on your body and mind.
  • You can easily learn autogenic training yourself.

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