Home Psychology An Effective Exercise for Coping with Stress: Autogenic Relaxation

An Effective Exercise for Coping with Stress: Autogenic Relaxation

Stress is inevitable for us, who are a part of social life. Our daily life is full of stressors . The first moment we open our eyes, we start the day by encountering stress, perhaps with a sound, a thought or an alarm warning. Therefore, the rest of the day is spent under intense stressors. It is not possible to escape from stress in this sense. However, although it is not possible to escape from stress, it is possible to cope with the negative effects it creates on the person. So much so that different studies are being conducted on this subject every day, and there are techniques that will strengthen people’s coping mechanisms with stress. In this article, we will talk about one of these techniques, the autogenic relaxation exercise .

What is autogenic relaxation?

Autogenic Relaxation Exercise (OE) is actually a relatively old technique for coping with stress. It is based on research done by the famous brain physiologist Oskar Vogt in the late 19th century. Berlin-based psychiatrist Johannes H. Schultz, who was interested in Vogt’s work, advanced his studies and revealed the autogenic exercise technique. He introduced this new system he developed in his book Autogenic Exercise, published in 1932.

Autogenic Relaxation Exercises are exercises in which a person can calm himself, provide relaxation and solve physical problems through verbal suggestion. Researchers say that after a week or two of practice, the exercises provide rapid relaxation in people. For this reason, they recommend applying it for at least twenty minutes a day . The sets used in the application contain verbal suggestion sentences. Each of the verbal suggestions to calm the body aims to calm and normalize the physical symptoms that the body experiences when under stress. By relaxing the body, exercise also helps the mind to get rid of the negative burdens of stress.

How is Autogenic Exercise applied?

Step 1: Before the exercise, you can sit in a comfortable position where you can lean your back, or you can take a position that leaves your neck and back relaxed in a slightly lying position. The important thing is that the position does not strain you. So make sure you are comfortable.

Step 2: Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Slowly say to yourself the verbal suggestions in the sets below, in order. Wait 30 seconds between each suggestion. Don’t rush . You can repeat phrases that sound good to you. If you wish, you can record and listen to these audio recordings frequently, or you can choose the set that suits you best and memorize those sentences.

Set 1: The purpose of the sentences in this set is to relax your voluntary muscles.

  • My right arm is getting heavy.
  • My left arm is getting heavy.
  • Both my arms are getting heavy.
  • My right leg is getting heavy.
  • My left leg is getting heavy.
  • Both my legs are getting heavy.
  • My arms and legs are getting heavy.

Set 2: The purpose of the words in this set is to increase the feeling of warmth by expanding the veins.

  • My right arm is warm.
  • My left arm is warm.
  • Both my arms are warm.
  • My right leg is warm.
  • My left leg is warm.
  • Both my legs are warm.
  • My arms and legs are warm.

Set 3: The purpose of the words in this set is to normalize your heart-related activities.

  • My right arm has become heavy and warm.
  • Both my arms are heavy and warm.
  • Both my legs have become heavy and warm.
  • My arms and legs have become heavy and warm.
  • My breathing has calmed down.
  • My heartbeat is calm and regular.

Set 4: The purpose of the words in this set is to regulate the respiratory system.

  • My right arm has become heavy and warm.
  • My arms and legs have become heavy and warm.
  • My breathing has calmed down.
  • My heartbeat is calm and regular.
  • My stomach is also warm.

Set 5: The purpose of the words in this set is to reduce blood flow to the head.

  • My right arm has become heavy and warm.
  • My arms and legs have become heavy and warm.
  • My breathing has calmed down.
  • My heartbeat is calm and regular.
  • My stomach is also warm.
  • My arms and legs are warm.
  • My forehead is cooling.

I hope you practice the Autogenic Relaxation Exercise regularly and see the benefits.