Last weekend I began my training to be certified as a Relaxation Coach (Entspannungscoach). The training consists of three weekends covering different topics and techniques helping people to de-stress and relax. Besides learning new things and deepening my knowledge in topics I believe to be very important and helpful I am very excited that the certification allows me to offer my clients courses here in Germany, which will be partially covered by the insurance. Last weekend I completed my certification in autogenic training, a highly effective relaxation method, which can be learned and applied by anyone. In this post I am sharing my experience from this weekend and knowledge of autogenic training.
High levels of stress is by many an accepted part of every day life. Working is stressful, being a parents is stressful, being without a job is stressful… the list goes on and on. What most people do not know is that we have a lot of influence over our stress level. First of all how we interpret a certain situation strongly influences how we perceive that situation. If we keep telling ourselves how stressful life is we will perceive it as such. If we work on accepting situations as they are, keep calm and work through them we will not perceive them as stressful (power of the mind). Secondly by actively calming our body we can reduce our level of stress. Autogenic training works on both levels. The beauty of that technique is that it can be practiced regularly to reduce your overall levels of stress and it can also be applied in acute stressful situations, as I will explain further down.
Feeling stressed is not just a mental phenomenon, but very physical. When we are stressed our heart beats faster, our ability to think clearly becomes impaired, acting wisely becomes more difficult, and we breath shallow which leads to decreased oxygen in our body. The argument ‘I need stress in my life to reach goals’ clearly is not a valid one. Motivation, excitement and hard work is what we need. High stress levels are not necessary to reach goals, it might even get in the way. High stress levels are extremely unhealthy not just for our psychological well- being but also for our body. We should care about our stress levels because stress is one of the top causes for a low well- being and many diseases. Low levels of stress help people in staying focused, thinking clearly, getting things done more effectively, and reaching goals. It is helpful in preventing and treating a large number of diseases.
Autogenic training is a relaxation method, which has been found to successfully lower levels of stress leading to clarity and a higher well- being. The technique leads to a psychophysiological relaxation response. It uses a set of visualizations inducing a physical and mental relaxation response. Participants learn to facilitate the technique by themselves. Therefore, participants do not depend on anyone else to induce relaxation, but are able to help themselves. The course is taught over a period of eight meetings slowly introducing participants to the technique and building it up step by step. It is fascinating how our mind and body can learn to relax and how effective this technique is.
During these 3 days of training we learned a lot of theory but practiced a lot as well. The effects of autogenic training are so amazing. It truly leaves you feeling relaxed, it calms your mind and body so strongly and allows you to connect with your body and your self. Not always were my mind and thoughts calm, but I was able to clearly observe and see thoughts which were running through my mind. This allows me to untangle the confusion caused by a thoughts and not being able to observe them. I experience this quite often. The result is restlessness and a difficulty to find clarity and calmness.Even within these short 3 days I noticed how with every practice my mind and body reacted faster to the different stimuli triggering a relaxation response.
Autogenic training is an amazing relaxation technique and I am very much looking forward to be sharing my knowledge and help people in learning the technique. Next year I will be offering some courses here in Hamburg, if you are interested in learning this eventually self- led relaxation technique and would like to be informed once I offer courses please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wishing you a restful Sunday.