Autogenic Meditation. A great technique to soothe an overactive mind and body.
|They’re looking at me?! I’m depressed. They shouldn’t have done that to me! I’ve got a thousand things to do! When will this suffering stop???These are just a few of the repetitive thoughts which constantly bombard my mind. The human mind is a powerful force, and once the engine is started and it’s reached top speed, it can often be hard to bring it down a gear or two. With a racing mind, thoughts and feelings gain such momentum they start propelling themselves, feeding off their own energy. You eventually become so overwhelmed that at some level a breakdown occurs, be it physically or mentally.
One way I’ve found useful in slowing down the constant barrage of thoughts and sooth an over active mind is Autogenic meditation.
The aim of Autogenic meditation, for me at least, is to get out of my mind and get in touch with my body. I believe this has two major benefits:
· Firstly, it gives your mind a much needed rest! All those racing thoughts can be tiring, and drain you of vital energy.
· Autogenics puts you back in touch with your body and is deeply relaxing. In a mind-dominated society it’s very easy to lose touch with your inner essence. I’ve found that a short, regular, daily practice of Autogenic meditation reconnects me with the inner aliveness of my body.
· It can take time to feel the benefits. It will vary from person to person, but in my personal experience it took a couple of weeks before I could start to feel the effects. However, once this happened and I got used to getting in touch with my body, the beneficial effects grew and grew and I’m now at a point where I can use autogenics in many situations and enter a relaxed state in just a few deep breathes.
· Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find it hard to get rid of thoughts whilst meditating. Clearing your mind is something you will learn in time. One technique I like to use is imagining any thought that crops up while I meditate as a butterfly. If I notice I’m caught up in thought whilst meditating, I imagine catching it in my hands like a butterfly and then letting it go, picturing the thought flying away.
· The breathing technique, which you should do before each meditation, can be the hardest part of autogenics. Do your best each day. Yet again, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do it straight away. Even after a few months of practice I still struggle on occasions. The whole point of the breathing technique is to get you in a relaxed and calm state to start the autogenics. Try your best to build up to counting to 6 on the inhale breath and counting 12 on the exhale. However, as long as you’re breathing is regular and relaxed, and you feel calm before you start the autogenic meditation then you’re in a good position to feel the benefits.
· Do it at regular times during the day. Regular practice is helpful if you want to feel the benefits. For example, I’ll practice once in the morning before I start my day, once in the evening and finally just before I go to sleep. Find your own particular rhythms and patterns throughout the day which suit you best. If you find it hard to fit it in your schedule then try to practice at least once a day.
Overall autogenics is a great relaxation technique if nothing else. I’ve found the benefits have spread into my daily life even when I’m not practising by calming my thoughts, slowing my breathing and relaxing my whole body, so please give it a try……
NB. I found it useful to re-read the introduction on the website from time to time when I first started to get a better understanding of it. Enjoy!