Autogenic Relaxation Technique

What is autogenic relaxation? Autogenic means self-regulation or self-generation. It means that the power for achieving relaxation is all within you. You don't need any equipment to practice this technique. All you need is your own motivation. Let's get started.


The Theory Behind Autogenics

During autogenic relaxation you will relax your muscles deeply. By relaxing your muscles, your mind automatically follows. And you find yourself experiencing deep relaxation.

You can follow relaxation with imagery - visualization relaxation - this enhances the profound feeling of relaxation and peace.

The technique is similar to biofeedback and progressive relaxation. You simply focus on the sensations of warmth and heaviness.

Thoughts of warmth produce dilation of blood vessels and thoughts of heaviness induce muscle relaxation. Sounds simple, right? Let's go and learn the steps to this technique.

Autogenic Relaxation in Simple Steps

To practice this relaxation technique you need to find a quiet place. While seated in a comfortable position you repeat a particular autogenic phrase to yourself (see the list bellow).

At the beginning, you do this for a few minutes at a time, several times a day. Gradually, you increase the time until you practice 20 minutes twice a day.

There are six parts to autogenic training, each focuses on a different part of the body and different sensation:

  1. heaviness in the extremities - "my arms and legs are heavy"
  2. warmth in the extremities - "my arms and legs are warm"
  3. heartbeat - "my heart is calm and regular"
  4. breathing - "my breathing is calm and regular"
  5. warmth in the solar plexus - "my solar plexus is warm"
  6. forehead - "my forehead is cool"

When you say autogenic phrases to yourself, imagine feeling the heaviness, the warmth, and the relaxation in your body. Allow the sensations of deep relaxation come to you, rather that actively strive for these sensations. You can design your own routine, here is a sample autogenic relaxation:

  • I am beginning to feel quiet now...
  • I am beginning to feel relaxed...
  • my feet, my ankles, my knees, and my hips feel heavy
  • my hands feel heavy
  • my arms and shoulders feel heavy
  • my neck and my jaw feel heavy
  • my feet, my ankles, my knees, and my hips feel warm
  • my hands feel warm
  • my arms and shoulders feel warm
  • my neck and my jaw feel warm
  • my heart is calm and regular
  • my breathing is calm and regular
  • my solar plexus is warm
  • my forehead feels cool
  • my whole body feels quiet, comfortable, and deeply relaxed

Once your body is quiet and relaxed, visualize an image that you find relaxing. It may be a sandy beach with waves lapping on the shore, a cool stream of a waterfall, or a soft, fluffy cloud lazily drifting across the sky.

Autogenic relaxation takes time to master. It may take few weeks to achieve the sensations of heaviness and warmth, but the results are worth it. Be patient.

Autogenic Relaxation is one of many techniques to help you reduce anxiety, achieve deep relaxation, and relieve stress. Other great relaxation techniques are:

Visualization Relaxation
Diaphragmatic Breathing
10 Ways to Relieve Stress
Progressive Relaxation
Muscle Relaxation Technique



Return from Autogenic Relaxation to Stress Relief Tools




| Home | Contact | Privacy Policy|

Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved.
ALL content on is for informational purposes only. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or other medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any concerns or issues, please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Return to top