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Have you ever felt so stressed that you can feel tension restricting your body, tightening your muscles, or quickening your breath? It is quite common for stress and anxiety to manifest itself in our bodies, but there are relaxing and helpful ways to recenter yourself and restore a feeling of calm.

In this exercise, we will practice autogenic training, helping you become more centered. It will also facilitate a positive inner dialogue with yourself, allowing your body to become more relaxed.

Settle yourself into a comfortable position. This can be standing up, sitting, or laying down. Take three deep breaths through your diaphragm…and gently shut your eyes. Now, quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.”

Bring your attention to your left arm. Quietly and slowly say to yourself three times, “my left arm is very heavy.” Feel its weight. Then quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Next, bring your attention to your right arm. Quietly and slowly say to yourself three times, “my right arm is very heavy.” Feel its weight. Then quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Now notice both of your arms together. Slowly say to yourself three times, “my arms are feeling warm.” Now quietly repeat, “I am completely calm and relaxed.”

calm
Take some time to recenter yourself.

Feel the warmth extend down into your hands. Slowly say to yourself three times, “my hands are feeling warm.” Feel the warmth move all the way outwards into your fingertips. Now quietly repeat, “I am completely calm and relaxed.”

Bring your attention to your left leg. Quietly and slowly say to yourself three times, “my left leg is very heavy.” Feel its weight. Then quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Next, bring your attention to your right leg. Quietly and slowly say to yourself three times, “my right leg is very heavy.” Feel its weight. Then quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Now notice both of your legs together. Slowly say to yourself three times, “my legs are feeling warm.” Now quietly repeat, “I am completely calm and relaxed.”

Feel the warmth extend down into your feet. Slowly say to yourself three times, “my feet are feeling warm.” Feel the warmth move all the way outwards into your toes. Now quietly vocalize “I am completely calm and relaxed.”

Focus on your chest. Feel it stay still as you breathe through the belly. Slowly say to yourself three times, “my heartbeat is calm and regular.” Then quietly repeat to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Quietly and slowly say to yourself three times, “my breaths are steady and calm.” Then quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.”

Quietly and slowly vocalize to yourself three times, “my abdomen is warm.” Then quietly say to yourself,” I am completely calm and relaxed.” Quietly and slowly say to yourself three times, “my forehead is nice and cool.”

Then quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Find peace in this sensation of relaxation, weightlessness, and warmth. Whenever you feel ready, quietly say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed.” Open your eyes.

When relationship, school, career, or family stress is creeping its way into your physical and emotional state, please feel free to return to this exercise to restore yourself and your feeling of calm.

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders
Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

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