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.
Before you go to the website where you can learn about the autogenic
technique, I have few gentle words of advice which I would have found
useful if I was starting....
- 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.