The Encyclopedia of Mental Techniques - Claudia Bender - ebook

The Encyclopedia of Mental Techniques ebook

Claudia Bender

0,0

Opis

You are holding the most comprehensive collection of modern mental techniques in your hands!Be it examinations, sports competitions, business management or everyday life – the authors present for each one of these domains a large compilation of tested methods for better health, more efficiency and joy in life. The exercises are being ordered according to difficulty and offer thus beginners as well as specialists a true treasure trove of practices. Short descriptions, application recommendations, side effects and personal comments add up to a systematic overview of all the established mental techniques. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of applied psychology! Comprehensive: More than 300 techniques Established: Scientifically proven Practicable: Mental techniques for everyday life For everyone: Methods easy to understand and apply And more: Find videos of the techniques on our homepage

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 399

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
Oceny
0,0
0
0
0
0
0



Claudia Bender | Michael Draksal

The Encyclopedia of Mental Techniques

The Best Methods from A to Z

www.mental-techniques.com

Inhalt

The Authors

1. Introduction

2.What is mental training?

3. Part A The Treasury of Methods

3.1 Relaxation and Regeneration techniques

Autogenic Training (AT)

Breathing Relaxation

Deep Imagination

Deep Relaxation

Essential Oils

Feng-Shui Garden

Floating

Massage

Meditation

Mental Hygiene Training

Musical Relaxation

Napping

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Qigong

Sleep Hygiene

Tai Chi

Thermal Bath

Yoga

3.2 Activation, Motivation, Willpower

Activating Breathwork

Activation through Scents

Activation Image

Contract with Oneself

Coordination Exercises

Experimenter Effect

Fast-Step Exercises

Five-Minute Deal

Goal Setting

Habituation

Ice-Cold Water

Infectious Activation

Motivational Interviewing (MI) after Miller & Rollnick

Musical Activation

Pain

Pep Talk

Pretending

Primal Scream

Stairs

Surprise

3.3 Concentration Training

Balance Training

Centering

Concentrated Gaze

Concentrated Lifestyle

Concentrating on an Object

Coordination Training

Flow

Joggling

Mantra Meditation

Modus Operandi

Reaction Training

Scheduled Breaks

Targeted Attention

Thought Stopping

Walking Meditation

3.4 Body-centric Practices

Aeroboxing

Babinski-Weil Test

Barefoot Park

Bean Bags

Beauty of the Sprint

Belly Breathing

Belly Whirl

Bonding

Break Out of the Circle

Feldenkrais

Focusing

Guessing Your Pulse

Motor Memory

Slow Motion

Targeted Movement Meditation according to C. Bender

Timbersports

Training with Weights

Unterberger’s Test

3.5 Optimization of Technique

Bullet Time

Decoupling

Ideomotor Training

Internal Observative Training (Kunze, 1971)

Lucid Dreaming

Mental Chronometry

Model Training

Observative Training

Photo

Psychomuscular Training (Frester, 1993)

Remote Control

Subvocal Training

Training Blind

Verbalizing

Video-Game Training

Writing the Script

Zeigarnik Effect

3.6 Pedagogical Methods

Buddy System

Children’s City

Experience Park

Handout

Human Knot

Jigsaw Puzzle

Junior Enterprise

Marte Meo

Project Poster

Role Playing

Rope Park

Scenario Technique

School Theater

Secret Santa

Simulation Game

Teaching Trail

Team Teaching

Warm Back

3.7 Projective and Associative Mental Techniques

Animal Family

Art Therapy

C. Bender’s I-Ball Model

Corman’s Patte-Noire Test

Dance Therapy

Dream Interpretation

Freewriting

Graphology

Implicit Association Test (IAT)

Lead-Drop Oracle

Lüscher Color Test

Picture Frustration Test (PFT)

Rorschach Test

Scenotest

Sentence Completion Test (SCT)

Speech Bubble Test

Systemic Constellations

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Tree Test

Wartegg Test

3.8 Self-confidence and Mental Strength

Action Plan

Cognitive Restructuring

Core Training

Forecast Training

Inner Child

Motto

Nickname

Nominative Determinism

Personal Motivational Video (PMV)

Plan B

Reparenting

Ritual

Role Model

Self Argument

Self-Praise

Solution Room

Success Analysis

Success Logging

Visualizing Success

3.9 Stress management

Affirmations

Anti-Stress Video

Cognitive Therapy

Emotion Control

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Exposure Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Hypnosis

John and Helen Watkins’ Ego-State Therapy

Josef Wolpe’s Systematic Desensitization (SD)

Meichenbaum’s Stress-Inoculation Training

Novaco’s Anger Management

Open Hands

Personal Effectiveness Training

Praying

Refuge

Relaxing Image

Richard Lazarus’s Coping Strategies

Stimulus Control

Stress Avoidance

Stress Barometer

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Walking Meditation

3.10 Communication Techniques

Active Listening

…, Because …

Circular Questioning

Columbo Technique

Door in the Face (Cialdini et al.)

Foot in the Door

Harvard Method

Ice Breaker

Inner Team

Mediation

Mirroring

Rhythmic Speaking

Sandwich

Schlaffhorst-Andersen Breathing Method

Small Request – Big Request

Smooth-Motion Speech Training

Socratic Dialog

Tongue Twisters

Yes/No

3.11 Learning Techniques and Memory Improvement

Acronyms

Crib Sheet

Curiosity

Dual Tasking

Headstand

I Pack in My Little Suitcase …

Index Card System

Learning in Motion

Major System

Memory Palace

Memory XL

Method of Loci

Mind Map

Multiple Encoding

Rhyming

SQ3R

Study Contract

Study Environment

Study Journal

TQ3L Method

Wall Poster

3.12 Creative Techniques

Automatic Writing

Brainstorming

Brainwriting Pool

Buffalo Method TODO

Collective Notebook

Color Therapy

Delphi Method

Disney Creativity Strategy

Flip-Flop

Microflow

Morphological Box

Osborn Checklist

Problem Box

Six Thinking Hats

Synectic Conference

TILMAG Method

Trigger Word Analysis

“What If”

6-3-5 Method

3.13 Team Building

Balloon Race

Carried on Hands

Disaster Game

Drill Sergeant

Singing

Squabblers

Team Ad

Team Boss

Team Checkup

Team Dynamic Circle

Team Goal Setting

Team Ritual

The Stick Game

Walking in Step

You Are Valuable to the Team

3.14 Device-based Practices

Augmented Reality

Balance Beam

Balancing Egg

Biofeedback

Biofeedback Stressball

Color Glasses

Cranial Electro-Stimulation

EEG Neurofeedback

Flicker Frequency Test

Mind Machine

PLATO Glasses

T Wall

Vienna Test System

Wii Fit

Wobble Board

3.15 Trivial Mental Techniques

4. Part B What is the Right Mental Technique?

Aggressiveness

Anger

Blushing

Burn-out

Depression

Fear

Feverishness

Indecision

Mood swings

Nervousness

Nightmares

Pain

Perfectionism

Stage fright

Stress

Test anxiety

Charisma

Concentration

Courage

Endurance

Improved performance

Intercultural Communication

Intuition

Life satisfaction

Memorization

Mental strength

Motivation

Relaxation

Reaching Goals

Success

Team spirit

Willpower

5. Part C Mental Training Programs

5.1 Exam Prep

5.2 Competition Prep

5.3 Dietary Adjustment

5.4 Business and Management Leadership

5.5 Love and Relationships

5.6 Child and Adolescent Development

5.7 Therapy

Bibliography

Index

0–9

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

Y

Z

1

Conception

Draksal Fachverlag

Postfach 10 04 51

D-04004 Leipzig

Germany

www.draksal-verlag.de

Cover: Katja Krüger

Layout: Tom Naumann, Lucille Bornemann, Katja Krüger

Copy-editing: Carina Heinrich, Marlen Rabold

Author picture: Oliver Heimann, Fotostudio Gießen

Cover photo: PhotoAlto.de

E-Book-Konversion: Satzweiss.com Print Web Software GmbH

Stay up to date: Register for our update service and we will let you know as soon as an expanded edition of this book is available! [email protected]

This work is protected by copyright. Any use outside of the narrow bounds set by copyright law without the written consent of the publisher is unauthorized and punishable. This applies in particular to reproduction, partial reproduction, reproduction in microfilm form and saving an electronic copy in electronic systems, as well as to the use in consulting, seminars, or conferences.

The material in this book has been put together with care. However, the information is presented with no warranty. The author and the publisher are not liable for personal, financial, or health damages resulting from advice given in this book.

Trademarked terms used herein shall not be assumed to be freely available for use. When used in consulting, conferences and seminars, this book must be referred to.

© 2012 Draksal Fachverlag, Leipzig – Printed in Germany

The Authors

The Authors

Claudia Bender is a trained psychologist and sports psychologist and an integrative therapist with her own practice in Hesse (www.claudia-bender.de). She runs workshops in vocational-training and continuing-education settings and gives conferences and seminars around Germany.

Michael Draksal is a trained sports scientist and sports psychologist who runs a practice in Leipzig. He is the author of over 30 books on mental training and is the head of the Center for Mental Performance Diagnostics, ZEMEL (www.zemel.de).

2.What is mental training?

5

2.What is mental training?

In the narrowest sense, mental training is defined as the rehearsing of movements or reactions in one’s mind.

Athletes employ this kind of mental training in develop an ingrained mastery of the technical aspects of their discipline. Surgeons practice the path of their scalpel in their mind. Pilots and first responders run many mental simulations to internalize emergency procedures. Even corporate executives and politicians often lock down the key passages of important speeches ahead of time by going over them in their head. They all know that having their knowledge structured in a way that is both clear and stable will see them through when the pressure is on. There are psychologists whose practice centers entirely on developing such concrete action plans. And indeed, simply knowing what one has to do next goes a long way towards allaying fear, nervousness, stress and mental blocks. 

However, there are exceptions! In sport, it’s the athlete who trains hard but still strikes out when the pressure is on: he knows exactly what he needs to do (the mental structure for the sequences of movements is very stable, as can be proven by appropriate methods such as the SPLIT procedure), yet on the day of the competition he is overcome by crippling nervousness which can escalate all the way to full-blown panic attack. In cases like these, mental training in the narrow sense is not enough and a more holistic approach is needed. 

Mental training in the broader sense describes the optimization of the whole person’s information-processing apparatus: perception, cognition, emotion, behavior, memory. Here the focus is on the conscious apprehension of environmental stimuli and of one’s own thoughts. Many problems, inhibitions and other unpleasant states resolve themselves when the cause becomes known, or at least that is when they start being treatable: awareness is half the battle.

Furthermore, there are plenty of unconscious, intuitive, “esoteric,” and trivial mental techniques which will appeal very differently to each individual, but which nonetheless may enrich our lives in wonderful ways: juggling, contact with animals, bathing in hot springs, walking barefoot in the sand, slow eating, etc. 

The goals of mental training are improved performance, better information processing, better quality of life, optimized behavior and psychological balance. 

The limits of what simple mental training can do are reached when the individual fails to show sufficient progress at the end of a carefully tailored training program. Take test anxiety: often it is “just” a question of bad study habits, with that sinking feeling during the test that one is not prepared. The result is fear. Before the next test, the student might try out special mental techniques: study routines, memory enhancement training, stress management. If the fear not only recurs during the test, but even grows stronger until it becomes a full-blown block, then simple mental training is no longer enough and a deeper investigation into the origins of this fear has to be conducted. In about 89% of all cases, simple mental training is enough to achieve the desired effects (see Willis 2002). In other words: a therapeutic approach must be taken in about 11% of all cases. 

Many people find it difficult to accept therapeutic treatment. However, if the same therapeutic course is presented as “mental training”, then the acceptance of treatment rises, because unlike “psychotherapy”, this prospect is not linked with the idea of mental illness. 

In practice, we are seeing that therapeutic methods are increasingly being integrated into “simple” mental training programs, while at the same time the methods from mental training are finding their way into therapeutic settings. The result is a cross-pollination of knowledge that is beneficial to both sides in the end.

3. Part A The Treasury of Methods

3. Part A

The Treasury of Methods

Autogenic Training (AT)

Also Known As

Difficulty

Level 4

Duration

once a day, 5–10 minutes

Description

Relaxation is triggered through concentration on one’s own body and through the use of autosuggestive commands.

Instructions

→ sit or lie down in a relaxed position, close your eyes, breathe calmly

→ develop the sensation that your left arm is getting warmer (“My left arm is warm”.)

→ let yourself feel the sensation in your left arm for about 1 minute (it should indeed feel warmer)

→ move on to your right arm, your legs, your breathing (“My breathing is calm”.), your forehead (“My forehead is pleasantly cool”.), your body (“My body is healthy and filled with energy”.)

→ return to the present by “reversing”

→ tense your arms for a moment, breathe deeply and open your eyes.

Comments

Autogenic training is probably the best-known relaxation technique. The original form developed by Schultz is rarely practiced nowadays. On the other hand, a variety of adapted versions are in widespread use. The technique is very good; nevertheless, time and professional guidance are required to learn it well.

References

Lindemann, H. (2004). Autogenes Training. Der bewährte Weg zur Entspannung. München

Goldmann Schultz, J. H. (2003). Das Autogene Training. Stuttgart: Thieme.

Weblink

Breathing Relaxation

Also Known As

Relaxed breathing, “breathing fear away” 

Difficulty

Level 2

Duration

1-5 minutes

Description

Taking control of one’s activation level through breathing. After a few slow breaths, one’s breathing, pulse and activation level quiet down and relaxation sets in. 

Instructions

→ slowly breathe in through your nose while counting to 4 in your mind

→ hold your breath while counting to 4 in your mind

→ slowly breathe out while counting to 8 in your mind

→ hold your breath while counting to 4 in your mind

... and start again from the top

Comments

Guideline: only 4 breaths per minute

A quick and uncomplicated method for relaxing.

Most effective when used in combination with music, short naps, pleasant scents, or infrared light. 

References

Lodes, H. (2000). Atme richtig. München: Goldmann.

Weblink

Deep Imagination

Also Known As

Image trance, inner visualization, daydreaming 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

10–30 minutes

Description

It is a particularly human gift to be able to transpose oneself in one’s mind to a place of one’s choosing and to imagine pleasant scenes of one’s own devising. Deep imagination offers the possibility through thought journeys and imaginary stories to gain a fresh perspective on problems and to change the way one experiences events and how one responds to them. It can help in numerous contexts including diet management (including addiction problems), stress management, post-traumatic recovery, self-esteem rebuilding and sleep disorder remediation. 

Instructions

→ sit or lie down, breathing calmly

→ the therapist reads or extemporizes a story

→ the client follows the story and tries to experience the succession of images with all her senses

→ at the end: return to normal state (tense your arms – breathe deeply – open your eyes) → come back to the present (“to the here and now”)

10

Comments

Perhaps you have heard of Frederick the Mouse? In case you haven’t: Frederick is a mouse who does not collect wheat and straw as the other mice do, but rays of sunshine and colors. During the cold wintertime, Frederick tells the other mice about the rays of sunshine and makes them feel much happier. This sense of wonder and imagination is widely encouraged in kindergartens and grade schools and highlights the beneficial effects of positive mental imagery for everyone. 

References

Lazarus, A. A. (2006). Innenbilder. Imagination in der Therapie und als Selbsthilfe (4. Aufl.). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

Weblink

Deep Relaxation

Also Known As

Shavasana (from yoga) 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

about 15 minutes

Description

The subject uses mental visualization to help bring about and reinforce a pleasant emotional state. This leads to a relaxation response. This exercise can be done with music. 

Instructions

→ lie down and get comfortable, breathing calmly and mindfully

→ mentally focus on your breathing

→ think of a relaxing landscape (beach, green pasture), imagine yourself “sinking deeper and deeper into the ground” and every time you exhale try to enjoy the sensation more intensely 

Comments

Very good sleeping aid. Also well suited as preparation for → Napping during the day (about 25 minutes). 

References

Bruk, K. J. (2002). Die meditative Tiefenentspannung. Schäffern: Arcturus-Verlag.

Weblink

Essential Oils

Also Known As

Difficulty

Level 4 (requires knowledge of effects and side-effects, in particular possible allergic reactions)

Duration

10–30 minutes

Description

Essential oils enter the blood stream via the skin or via the mucous membranes of the respiratory apparatus and from there go on to affect the entire organism.

11

Instructions

→ lavender, lemon balm, anise, valerian, rosemary and tea-tree oils can be used to help achieve relaxation 

→ combine essential oils with a relaxation bath: 5 to 15 drops in a 68-100°F bath will amplify the relaxing effects. Note: Essential oils and water don’t mix without an emulsifier. The essential oil will form a film on the surface of the water if dispersion isn’t helped along with a dose of bubble bath, a squirt of a carrier oil such as aloe vera, or a handful of bath salts. 

Comments

In aromatherapy, specific essential oils are used to treat certain conditions. In Germany, only doctors and naturopathic practitioners are allowed to offer aromatherapy treatments. 

The layperson can explore “aroma wellness” practices, i.e. the diluted use of essential oils as bath additives, in scented candles, or as massage oils. The dosage of essential oils must be done very carefully during pregnancy. 

References

Zeh, K. (2006). Handbuch Ätherische Öle. Mittelberg: Joy.

Zimmermann, E. (2006). Aromatherapie für Pflege- und Heilberufe. Stuttgart: Sonntag.

Weblink

Feng-Shui Garden

Also Known As

Botanical Garden, Wind and Water, Kan Yu 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

60 Minutes

Description

Feng Shui offers teachings on how to create and improve living spaces, work spaces, gardens and parks. The goal is a harmonious relationship between people and their surroundings. A Feng Shui garden is a planted area landscaped according to these precepts. The relaxing and regenerative effects of the Feng Shui garden come about through the design, tending and enjoyment of the space. 

Instructions

1.) Short form: visit a Feng Shui garden

→ find an appropriate garden or park and consciously set aside time for relaxing there after stressful days at work

→ enjoy with all your senses: close your eyes, listen to nature

2.) Long form: create your own Feng Shui garden

→ familiarize yourself with the rules of Feng Shui or hire a consultant

→ create a garden that is both esthetically pleasing and spatially harmonious through the choice of plants, the layout of paths, the interplay of light and shadow and water features (fountain, waterfall, brook)

→ both working in your own Feng Shui garden and simply being there are deeply relaxing and regenerative.

Comments

It is easy to criticize the teachings of Feng Shui. Energy fields and geomantic radiation are not scientifically proven. However, anyone who has visited a Feng Shui garden can attest to the restorative effects: the quiet rustle of the leaves, the relaxing babble of the water, the colors and scents of the plants. 

References

Schumacher, S. (2005). Mein Feng Shui Garten. München: Callwey.

Weblink

12

Floating

Also Known As

Flotation therapy, isolation tank, float tank 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

30–45 minutes

Description

The aim of sensory-deprivation floating is to achieve a sensation of “weightlessness” by lying in a tank filled with salt water at body temperature. The feeling of being free of one’s body’s weight is relaxing and creates a sense of well-being.

Instructions

→ float in a tank specially designed for this purpose

→ can be combined with musical relaxation

Comments

It is not unusual to fail to reach a state of relaxation during the first 3 sessions in an isolation tank because one has to get used to this new, remarkable environment. After the initial phase, floating can become a very powerful way to relax and to restore oneself (“back in mamma’s belly”).

References

Ewald, W. M. (1994). Sensorische Deprivation (3. Aufl.). Ettlingen: Ettlinger Verlag Kunz.

Hutchinson, M. (2000). The book of floating. Cambridgeshire: Gateway.

Weblink

Massage

Also Known As

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

5–30 minutes

Description

A masseur uses his hands or a device such as a massage ball to apply various types of pressure on the participant’s body. This activates blood circulation, lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles. The resulting physical relaxation can help the recipient relax mentally as well. 

Instructions

→ lie down, preferably on a massage table

→ let the masseur carry out the massage

Comments

There are many forms of massage, e.g., acupressure, reflexology, massage-ball techniques, hot stone massage, lymphatic draining. Many health insurance providers offer some level of reimbursement for massage sessions delivered by state-licensed massage therapists or physical therapists. 

References

Storck, U., Junker, H.-O., & Rostalski, W. (2004). Technik der Massage. Stuttgart: Thieme.

Weblink

13

Mental Hygiene Training

Also Known As

Thought voyage 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

about 5 minutes; should be practiced every day at the same time in the beginning

Description

The participant tries to imagine the path a red blood cell takes through her body. She focuses on the feeling that forms in the parts of the body through which it travels and tries to create a sensation of warmth there.

Instructions

→ assume a relaxed position, lying down, eyes closed and breathe calmly 

→ try to imagine the path a red blood cell might take through your body: left arm – left leg – right leg – right arm – belly – head

→ take ten seconds to concentrate your mind on the feeling that forms in each one of the body parts thus visited and then try to create a sensation of warmth in that part of your body

14

Comments

A very good method, not only for relaxation after practice or after a competition, but also for improving one’s concentration and one’s powers of visualization. Beginners should have someone read the path of the red blood cell to them or record it themselves on a CD; experts will not need the verbal cues any more. Good preparation for → Autogenic Training (AT). 

References

Lindemann, H. (1992). Einfach entspannen. Psychohygienetraining – die Methode mit Sofortwirkung. München: Mosaik Verlag.

Weblink

Musical Relaxation

Also Known As

Difficulty

Level 2

Duration

2 minutes (short form) to 30 minutes

Description

Music has a huge influence on our mood. Musical relaxation harnesses this effect by having you play relaxation music of your choice on your speakers or headphones. 

Instructions

→ assume a relaxed position, seated or lying down

→ listen to music you find relaxing

→ enjoy the feeling of calm and relaxation welling inside you

Comments

This method is well suited to short periods of relaxation before or after peak performance bursts. It is a very good aid to recuperation and to falling asleep. 

You can easily combine it with other relaxation techniques.

References

Draksal, M. (2007). Mit mentaler Wettkampfvorbereitung zum Erfolg. Leipzig: Draksal.

Nideffer, R. M. (1989). Mental-Training. Rüschlikon/Zürich; Stuttgart; Wien: Albert Müller.

Weblink

Napping

Also Known As

Flash relaxation, power napping, energy sleep, supersleep, siesta, day sleep 

Difficulty

Level 1

Duration

10–30 minutes

Description

Sleep is our built-in relaxation “method”. Napping is a conscious attempt to fall asleep – and it leads to a relaxation response.

Instructions

→ flash relaxation: lean with the right side of your body against a wall and hold your keychain in your left hand. Then try to fall asleep. Your muscles will relax and at some point your left hand will loosen and you will drop your keys. The jangle of the keys hitting the floor will awake you and end the flash relaxation.

→ power napping: screen yourself off from your surroundings, set a timer and sleep

15

Comments

Determine the nap duration that is right for you (for most people, anything above 30 minutes has a negative impact on performance).

According to a Greek study of 23,500 subjects, a midday nap lowers the risk of heart attack by 37%. 

Greek European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)

References

Zulley, J., & Knab, B. (2003). Unsere innere Uhr. Freiburg: Herder.

Weblink

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Also Known As

PMR, deep muscle relaxation 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

One training session lasts about 10-20 minutes and should be done every day at the same time, at least in the beginning. As soon as relaxation can be achieved reliably – typically after about 30 sessions – practice on an as-needed basis is sufficient.

Description

Progressive muscle relaxation consists in tensing muscle groups as hard as possible and then letting them go completely limp and relaxed. The contrast between tension and relaxation makes the effects of relaxation more manifest. 

Instructions

→ assume a relaxed position, seated or lying down and breathe calmly

→ make a fist with your right hand and tense your arm as hard as possible

→ hold the tension for 3-5 seconds

→ open your right hand and relax the arm

→ concentrate on the feeling of relaxation for 20-30 seconds

→ repeat this sequence with the other hand, both arms, shoulders, back, breast, belly, buttocks, both legs, feet, neck and face, in that order 

Comments

Ideally suited for athletes; also good in an abbreviated form as a relaxation ritual for the breaks between attempts or between heats (tense all muscles for 5 seconds and then consciously release the tension). The original method is no longer used in sports training. It has generally given way to variations tailored to the individual athlete. 

References

Bernstein, D. A., & Borkovec, T. D. (2002). Entspannungs-Training. Handbuch der progressiven Muskelentspannung nach Jacobson (11th edition). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

Jacobson, E. (2006). Entspannung als Therapie. Progressive Relaxation in Theorie und Praxis. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

Weblink

Qigong

Also Known As

16

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

10–30 minutes

Description

slow, flowing movements, mindful breathing, over 100 gestures, e.g., “Push Mountain Lift Sky,” “Holding the Sun in One Hand” 

Instructions

→ stand up straight, arms akimbo, stable stance 

→ follow your teacher’s demonstration (if you are in a class) and then carry out the movement in one flowing motion

→ stay in the final position for a few seconds

→ in one slow, flowing motion go back to the initial position

→ repeat each movement 3 times

Comments

The exercises can be learned quickly from a qualified teacher and can be done as needed in the morning, during the day, or in the evening. In traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong is also prescribed for headaches. Similar to → Tai Chi, yet people have reported faster results with Qigong than with Tai-Chi. 

References

Eastwood, C. (2006). Qi Gong - Einfaches Entspannen durch sanften Energiefluss (DVD). Hamburg: WVG.

Weblink

Sleep Hygiene

Also Known As

Difficulty

Level 2–3

Duration

short term: immediate effects

medium term: 4-6 weeks of sleep monitoring and optimization

Description

Better recuperation capacity can be achieved by improving the quality of one’s sleep. Sleep hygiene refers to practices by which one tries to systematically change the setting and behaviors associated with one’s sleeping conditions, with the aim of getting more and rest out of a night’s sleep. 

Instructions

→ short term: familiarize yourself with the rules of sleep hygiene and transfer them to your own situation, by adjusting the environment (light, temperature, scents, noise level), by selecting the right bedding (blankets, pillows, mattress), by adapting your sleep-wake cycle, by eating right before turning in, etc. 

→ medium term: keep a sleep journal in which you note your observations and systematically document the changes you introduce and their effects 

Comments

Improving the quality of one’s sleep is an excellent way to build up recuperation capacity and to increase one’s peak performance level, especially for people who have to function in high-pressure environments – for athletes in particular. 

References

Zulley, J. (2005). Mein Buch vom guten Schlaf. München: Zabert Sandmann.

Weblink

17

Tai Chi

Also Known As

Tai Chi Chuan, Taiji 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

10–30 minutes

Description

The Tai Chi practice consists of mastering the slow and fluid motions of a set of forms, of which there are over 100 in total. During the execution of the movements, the focus is on balance. 

Instructions

→ stand up straight, arms akimbo, stable stance

→ follow your teacher’s demonstration (if you are in a class) and then carry out the movement in one flowing motion

→ stay in the final position for a few seconds

→ in one slow, flowing motion go back to the initial position

→ repeat each movement 3 times

Comments

Tai Chi was originally a martial art and it can still be practiced as such today. It is very well suited as a relaxation technique for people who enjoy mastering a physical activity. 

References

Anders, F. (2007). Taichi. Grundlagen der fernöstlichen Bewegungskunst. München: Hugendubel.

Iknoian, T., & Fuentes, M. (2005). T‘ai Chi für Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley-For Dummies.

Weblink

Thermal Bath

Also Known As

Hot spring 

Difficulty

Level 2

Duration

30–120 minutes

Description

Hot springs were used in the stone age and blossomed in Roman times and in Oriental antiquity. With waters springing at temperatures above 68°F and laden with minerals, thermal springs are not only sought for their relaxing and restorative effects, but they are also used as medical treatments. Most thermal spas have qualified personnel on staff and offer special courses.

Instructions

→ simplest method: recline in the water (with or without flotation device)

→ can be combined with colored lights, oils, steam, or music (piped in underwater so that you only hear the music when you lay your head back in the water)

Comments

Very powerful method for achieving relaxation and promoting regeneration! Beware: avoid hot spa baths before athletic competitions since they can reduce much needed muscle tone! Recommended: the Claudius Baths in Cologne.

References

Jahns, H. (2004). Gesundheitsurlaub in Deutschlands Heilthermen. Bielefeld: Rump.

Weblink

18 

Activating Breathwork

Also Known As

Short form of Stanislav Grof’s holotropic breathwork 

Difficulty

Level 3

Duration

10–30 seconds

Description

Activation is achieved through deep, active breathing at a higher frequency than usual. 

Instructions

→ consciously breathe in to the full capacity of your lungs (2 seconds)

→ without pause breathe out normally (1 second)

→ repeat 3-5 times

Comments

Athletes may want to try activating breathwork just before an attempt in combination with an activation scent (Japanese mint oil). Beware: Activating breathwork can cause hyperventilation, which is dangerous not only for asthma sufferers! 

References

Lodes, H. (2000). Atme richtig. München: Goldmann.

Weblink

Activation through Scents

Also Known As

Difficulty

Level 2

Duration

Short form: 10-30 seconds

during a session of work: several hours (ambient scent)

21

Description

Our sense of smell is extremely sensitive. Humans can perceive about 10,000 different smells and very low concentrations can trigger sensory perception. When olfactory sensors are triggered, the sensory pattern they propagate can foster the recollection of past experiences. Our sense of smell can therefore be used to bring back memories of times where we were particularly engaged or strongly motivated, which can help us recreate that state in our present condition. 

Instructions

→ select an activating scent, e.g., Japanese mint oil, menthol, eucalyptus, citrus, orange, apple, lemon, coffee, lime 

→ using the appropriate air freshening apparatus, add continuous scent or dashes as needed

Comments

Often the simplest methods have the greatest effects: grabbing a breath of fresh air, airing out the office, working with room sprays. There are also advanced, digitally-controlled wide-area scenting devices that can be installed in open offices, public facilities and in schools. 

References

Hatt, H. (2006). Dem Rätsel des Riechens auf der Spur. Grundlagen der Duftwahrnehmung. Berlin: Suppose.

Meyer, A. (2007). Lexikon der Düfte. Lemgo: Taoasis.

Weblink

Activation Image

Also Known As

Motivational poster, symbol 

Difficulty

Level 2

Duration

15 seconds to 1 minute

Description

An image can give rise to positive emotions and thus lead to activation. In this technique, one uses the purposeful motivating power of images to enhance one’s environment (wall poster) or to get oneself into the right mood before particular situations (pocket-sized photo), e.g., before competitions or tests. 

Instructions

→ select an image that draws an intense emotional response for you (think very personal: an idol, a beast of prey, towering mountains)

→ gaze upon the image as needed and let its emotional power wash over you

→ when you can’t actually look at the picture, often visualizing the image is enough to awaken the desired emotional state 

Comments

Gyms often have motivational posters of athletes training hard. Activating images work best if the individual chooses them herself. The German national ski jump team used this method in their training in preparation for the Four Hills Tournament in 2002, with the memorable result that Sven Hannawald that year became the first jumper in the tournament’s 50-year history to win all four events. 

References

Hüther, G. (2006). Die Macht der inneren Bilder. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Weblink

Contract with Oneself

Also Known As

Self-promise 

Difficulty

Level 3

22

Duration

30 minutes

Description

A contract sets the rights and responsibilities of the parties so that their behavior becomes predictable. Contracts usually include rewards for carrying out one’s obligations and penalties if one leaves them unfulfilled. A contract with oneself is a method of self-management in which one tries to make it easier for oneself to fulfill one’s own expectations (e.g., being more physically active). It works because one lays aside doubt (“Should I really go to the gym now?” – “Yes, because my contract says I have to.”) and focuses on achieving well-defined goals. 

Instructions

→ define the desired activity

→ draw up a contract that sets concrete obligations and penalties for failing to fulfill them: “By the present contract, I agree to go jogging for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week for the next 6 weeks. As soon as I am able to run 10K in under an hour, I will treat myself to a weekend at a wellness spa. Should I fail to achieve this goal, I agree not to watch television for a whole day. [Location, date, signature.]” 

→ if possible have witnesses sign also (this will increase the sense of obligation) and carry the contract with you

Comments

Same dangers as with → Goal Setting: the decisive aspect is not the planning, but carrying out the plan. The sense of obligation can lead to stress. Contracts also tend to be rigid, which can be critical when goals are pushed back. That’s why it’s best to sign only short-term contracts. 

References

Hoffmann, E. (2007). Manage dich selbst und nutze deine Zeit. Witten: W3l.

Weblink

Coordination Exercises

Also Known As

Dexterity exercises, finger games 

Difficulty

Level 1–2

Duration

1–10 minutes

Description

Coordination exercises activate and are fun. 

Careful: keep the difficulty level high at all times! As soon as it becomes automatic, the activation effect disappears. 

Instructions

→ exercises without any apparatus:

- stand on one leg with your eyes closed (harder: crouch down while on one leg) 

- draw a circle in the air with your left hand while drawing a square with your right

- run and hop: skip, run raising your knees to your chest, side-skip, run touching your ankles to your buttocks 

→ exercises with apparatus:

- yoyo, trampoline, wobble board, juggling, skateboard, snakeboard, hula hoop, unicycle, rope-jumping, speed stacking, inline skating, skiing 

Comments

Your progress at coordination exercises will amaze you! Doing a few minutes a day to help get yourself activated will lead to levels of ability you would never have expected in just a few weeks! Humans are incredible learning creatures – what can be achieved through coordination training is a remarkable testament to this fact.

23 

References

Bischops, K., & Gerads, H.-W. (2001). Koordinationstraining. Aachen: Meyer & Meyer.

Häfelinger, U., & Schuba, V. (2002). Koordinationstherapie. Aachen: Meyer & Meyer.

ZDF (Hrsg.) (2002). Meister Wang’s Fingerspiele. Berlin: Egmont.

Weblink

Experimenter Effect

Also Known As

Hawthorne Effect 

Difficulty

Level 2

Duration

For the duration of a work session, project, or activity

Description