Pages by Andreas B. M. Hofmeier
email Impressum/Note Privacy

Like to be free? ... then: Fight for Freedom

Mental Techniques like Autogenics Training and Meditation to change Behaviour

The following text gives a short overview about mental techniques (Autogenics Training and Meditation) and changing unwanted behaviour. It reflects my knowledge and do not claims to be complete or accurate.

Please read completely through this text before you start judging and thinking about it. The most important thinks are may be in the end.

In my opinion the only way to change a habit is to think about it. It makes no sense to force yourself to do (or not to do) something. Earlier or later your power will be spent. This is like cutting weeds. Without removing the root of evil it will come back again and again. For this reason it is important to figure out what the reason is. What causes the actual problem? And than to begin the work on this root of the problem. (In many cases the roots can be found in the childhood because this is the most formative time in your life. Little problems there can cause big problems later if they are not worked off.) Somewhere I read this sentence: "For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root."

However, I have to say, that this is not an easy way. I think there are no easy ways. All ways which are appearing easy are only cutting weeds. It may helps in short-term, but in long term there will be no change.

The first and most important thing to change a habit is relaxation. This is important to be able to think detached about something. This means that you can look at yourself (and your behaviour) like an other person. You are not longer yourself but an external observer which is able to see you.

I used Autogenics Training and Meditation to create this form of detached relaxation. Autogenics Training is a simplified adaption of Meditation optimised for the western people. It is centred on becoming relaxation. It is recommendable to do a Autogenics Training course with an trained trainer because this people can answer your questions, change the training for your special needs, and give you further advice. However, I found these URLs which seams to give a good overview about Autogenics Training:

Once you can go into a deep relaxation you are able to face with your deepest problems within this relaxation. So you can think about the problem without becoming the problem, without getting involved in the problem. Like an external observer. This is vital to get an overview and find a solution.

Another thing which I discovered is very helpful is to "do it in written". If you write something down, you have to be clear. You cannot lie yourself by saying "now I have understood" or "now it is clear", etc. If it is not clear you cannot write it down. On the other hand, writing gives you more "feeling" than simple thinking about it: You see the written text, you hear it (when you formulate it you say the sentence to yourself to know if it sounds good; and again when you read it), you feel it (the pencil in your hand, the paper under), and of course, you think about the written much more because you know that someone else can read it. Writing moves ambiguous thoughts in clear text. The result of this is, that you get new ideas and you think about things you never discovered if you wouldn't write it. So it is may be a good idea to write it down.

Meditation on the other hand is much more complex, abstract, and spread than Autogenics Training. The only way to master it: do it! I think Autogenics Training is a good way to start with Meditation. So I suggest you start with Autogenics Training. Autogenics Training focus on relaxation by training your body to relax. Meditation focus much more on the mind.

I think a good overview about Meditation is given in David Fontana's book 'The Meditator's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Eastern and Western Meditation Techniques'. However, I don't finish it by now.

According my knowledge the behaviour is controlled by "programs" in the sub-consciousness almost completely. If this programs are to powerful (deep habit) to be changed on the direct way (simply decide to behave another way) they can be changed by repeated imagination. I have to repeat that it is not possible to change a deep program from one second to the next one. The technique of imagination uses Autogenics Training or Meditation to become deeply relaxed. In this state the situation which causes normally the unwanted behaviour is visualised. But in the deep relaxation you should be able to choose you behaviour in the visualised situation. And of curse, you choose the "right" behaviour. It is important to imagine the situation in every detail. Now it is possible to analyse the situation in every detail. You see details which you never see in the real situation because now you are an observer. You are not in the situation but you see yourself in it. By repeating right behaviour in the imagined situation the program is changed step by step. It will not make a big difference if you do it once but it gives you the opportunity to change unwanted behaviour.

BUT, it has to be said that the aim of this technique should not be "simply remove unwanted behaviour". You can remove unwanted behaviour but new unwanted behaviour will be appear if you do not change the roots. The question is not only "How can I change it?" but also "What causes it?". Only by giving an answer to the second question the real problem can be solved. This technique helps to work on unwanted behaviour, to think about the roots, and change them too. I think it is important to be open. You will unearth things you don't want to see. But you must face with these things, this is the only way to develop yourself and make a real change.

The last thing about this is: Do not go the way alone! Speak about your problems! You cannot imagine which new insights you get if you talk to other people. (Trusted people, of curse!) I have had this experience a few days ago on a family meeting. I spoke to a related person and he told me his opinion. He told me about his experience and about what he thinks what the problem is. You will be surprised how many parallels there are. Your friends and related will have similar problems. Talking to other people opens new skylines gives you new ideas. But, you have to be open again. You will hear thinks you don't want to hear... On the other hand it can be a good idea to speak (additionally) to people which work professional on the human mind.

Well, there is one book I want to recommend. It will not give a solution for the actual problem but it helps to master the life. I think the things mentioned in this book are very helpful to live the life what you really want. I found it in LSBU's library.

Stephen R. Covey - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Last modified: Wed Jul 20 13:03:04 CEST 2005

Pages by Andreas B. M. Hofmeier
email Impressum/Note Privacy
Creative Commons License
(c) Andreas B. M. Hofmeier
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License