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Meditation Life Skills Podcast

171 EpisodesProduced by Meditation Life SkillsWebsite

Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end. Take a few minutes and pick an episode and learn how to meditate or expand your existing meditation practice.


Guided Autogenic Progressive Relaxation Using Alpha/Theta

This guided meditation technique involves the daily practice of sessions that last around 30 minutes, usually in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the evening.

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During each session, you will repeat a set of visualizations that induce a state of deep, healing relaxation. This technique can be used to alleviate many stress-induced psychosomatic disorders.

Autogenic training is a relaxation technique developed by the German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz and first published in 1932.

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Autogenic simply means spontaneous relaxation, telling yourself to relax by concentrating on relaxing various parts of the body.

Autogenic Training: What You Should Know

Autogenic training is a stress-reduction approach that focuses on developing sensations of peace and relaxation in the body.

According to Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, a neuropsychologist and Columbia University faculty member, it helps decrease anxiety originating from situations or settings that may overwhelm us with stress, irritation, or despair.

Autogenic training was created in the 1920s by German psychologist Johannes Heinrich Schultz as a means to target the physical manifestations of stress by employing relaxation exercises to gain control over these processes.

According to Hafeez, this technique is frequently used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, but it can also be employed on its own to assist people in coping with stress.

Autogenic Progressive Relaxation's Advantages

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Trusted Source, the goal of most relaxation techniques, including autogenic training, is to encourage your body's natural relaxation response by slowing breathing, lowering blood pressure, and, ultimately, producing a feeling of increased well-being.

Autogenic training, which was originally intended to educate people on how to stimulate physical relaxation on their own, is now commonly used in counseling sessions to manage anxiety symptoms, which Hafeez defines as any mental or physical manifestations of anxiety.

"Autogenic training can help with conditions including social anxiety disorder (SAD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), depression, and sleeplessness," says Hafeez.

Autogenic training is also beneficial for coping with daily stress and can even aid with panic episodes.

How to Go About It

You can start using these relaxation techniques on your own once you've gotten used to the process or just download and use the guided meditation on this podcast episode.

Set yourself up. Make sure you have a peaceful, comfortable spot to unwind before you begin. This should ideally be the same location where you practice relaxation techniques every time.

These exercises can be done either lying down or sitting up. Remove your spectacles and loosen any clothing that is too tight.

Begin by focusing on your breathing. Slowing down your breathing is the first step. Start with calm, even breaths, and make sure you're in a comfortable position. "I am fully peaceful," say yourself once you've gained control of your breathing. Simply repeating this to yourself may be enough to induce relaxation.

Pay attention to various parts of your body. Begin with your right arm and say aloud, "My right arm is heavy, I am fully relaxed," while breathing slowly and steadily. Rep with the second arm and leg, continually returning to "I am absolutely peaceful."

Concentrate on your heartbeat. "My heartbeat is calm and regular," repeat six times to yourself while inhaling deeply, and then remark, "I am entirely relaxed." This is repeated for various parts of your body, including your abdomen, chest, and forehead.

You might also wish to try a Guided Autogenic Progressive Relaxation like the one in this podcast in addition to these steps. This allows you to completely unwind and concentrate on the technique.

This is a good place to start for those who have never practiced any form of relaxation before. Use this session to enter deep alpha and theta states for stress reduction, or enter into lucid dreaming or even heightened sensory and higher states of conscious awareness.

Listen to this audio file as much as you want in a comfortable position, whether sitting or lying down. When listening, headphones are usually recommended to avoid distractions.

***This work is not meant to be a replacement for medical or counseling guidance from a qualified practitioner. Please get professional care if you are suffering from a physical or mental disease.


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