Autogenic Relaxation Training
This audio teaches autogenic relaxation which is a focus on the pleasant sensations of warmth and heaviness coming into your body. Practicing this method will help you become more skilled at being aware of your body, where you feel tension, and replacing the tension with pleasant warmth and soothing heaviness.
About 9 minutes.
When doing any mindful or relaxation exercise, it is important to very gently bring your focus back to your experience if
distracting thoughts occur. Do not try to get rid of the thoughts because that interferes with the relaxation process.
Instead, just gently refocus back to the exercise.
Once you have learned this technique, you can use it to help whenever you feel stressed. You won't need to listen to the entire audio but will be able to focus on the sensations of your body, being aware of the tension, and releasing the tension by replacing with the relaxing sensations of warmth and heaviness.
"When you are in a state of
mindfulness you are actually
more aware and able to
engage in tasks..."
When I ask clients what they do for daily relaxation I usually get responses such as:
"I relax by watching TV every night."
"I have a glass of wine."
"I read a book."
"I go out with friends."
"I go to the gym and work out."
"I find gardening relaxing."
"I like to fish."
Although each of these activities may be perceived as relaxing and may even have an element of
mindfulness, they don't provide the brain and body with the deep meditative relaxation we
require. In fact, most of these activities are stimulating to the brain or the body rather than quieting.
What is Deep Meditative Relaxation?
When I refer to deep meditative relaxation,
I mean the type that allows our brain to enter an "alpha" state for a period of time. An "alpha"
state refers to our brain waves as measured by an EEG. When (non-invasive) electrodes are
attached to our heads to measure our brain waves, we find several different types occur depending
upon our degree of wakefulness.
The normal state of wakefulness in which we are fully aware and active is shown as "beta" waves.
Beta waves on the EEG are very active, not very uniform, and not deep are slow. This makes sense
as it is showing that the brain is active which includes thinking as well as physical activity
which the brain must direct. So, most of the statements above can be described by a "beta wave
When we fall asleep our brain slows down, and the brain waves become deeper, slower, and more
rhythmic as we progress through the deeper stages of sleep including theta and delta brain waves.
However, when we cycle back into dream sleep or "REM" sleep then our brain approaches the wakeful
state of the beta waves because our brain is active during dream sleep.
For most people who don't practice deep meditative relaxation, these are the primary brain waves
that they experience. However, with deep relaxation, meditation, hypnosis, and mindfulness people
experience the alpha brain wave state as well as the theta brain wave state (Chiesa, 2009;
Lagopoulos et al, 2009) which have been shown to have significant health benefits. READ MORE: page 2
Intro to Meditative Relaxation--page 1
What are the health benefits of deep meditative relaxation?--page 2
How do I do deep meditative relaxation?--page 3
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