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Wellbeing tips

Body and mind


The body speaks

Daily challenges include being overloaded with commitments and unexpected events which can ruin your day. But you must not give in to stress. Finding your inner calm is possible with the help of autogenic training: with your eyes closed, take a slow, deep breath, and repeat “I am calm and relaxed” a few times. Listening to your body will help free you from anxiety and stress. 


Sense of heaviness

Autogenic training is a long-practised relaxation technique that gives you control over your well-being. To reduce muscle tension caused by emotional pressure, relax and focus your attention on your right arm, repeating “my right arm is heavy” 5 times. Then do the same with the left arm, before moving on to the legs and the body.



Autogenic training exercises mitigate stress, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders. The second formula can help you alleviate circulatory problems, warm up your muscles and relax. Concentrate on your breathing. Carry out the first formula before repeating “my right arm is warm” 5 times. Then move on to the left arm and repeat the pattern with the legs and body.


The heart

The third autogenic training exercise is very striking because it interplays with our pace of life and the centre of our emotions. Having performed the above formulas, we then move on to repeating “my heart beats calmly and regularly” 5 times, followed by “I am calm and relaxed” a few times. This frees us from tension and puts us back in touch with our body.



Breathing is what characterises the fourth autogenic training exercise, which improves the oxygenation in the the blood and organs. Symbolically speaking, nothing has more of an effect on our life than breathing. Following on from the previous patterns, add 5 repetitions of “my breathing is calm and regular”, followed by a couple of repetitions of “I am calm and relaxed”. This allows you to enjoy calmness and serenity and devote more attention to your well-being.


The solar plexus

With the fifth autogenic training exercise you can soothe digestive problems. Now that we’ve gone through all the previous formulas, let’s focus on the stomach or belly, depending on the source of the discomfort. Then repeat “my solar plexus is warm” 5 times, followed by “I am calm and relaxed” a couple of times. Done regularly, it provides a beneficial relief.


The forehead

The sixth autogenic training exercise is useful for reducing headaches, especially those triggered by a physical or mental overload. After the above formulas, we now repeat “My forehead is cool” 5 times. Conclude by repeating “I am calm and relaxed” a couple of times. By refining the technique every day you gain energy, your body’s functions are rebalanced and you will notice significant beneficial effects.


Mini training

The mini training exercise is particularly useful for incidents of sudden severe stress and can replace the autogenic training formulas when you don’t have much time and need to calm down quickly. Breathe deeply, focus on the neck, shoulders and arms, lie down and repeat three times: “my shoulders are heavy and warm” followed by two repetitions of “I am calm and relaxed”. You can repeat the exercise if necessary, even several times a day.


Positive thinking

While this process does take time, you can learn to turn a negative thought into a positive one. All it takes is practise! It is scientifically proven that the way we think about things has a significant impact on their outcome. This means we can learn to attach the right amount of importance to a situation, and try to play it down. For example, a sentence like “I can’t do it” can become “I’ll do my best”. Try it yourself!


The scales and I

Do you have a complicated relationship with the scales? Let’s see how we can improve it. First, it is best to weigh yourself in the morning, on an empty stomach and without clothes on. Do not weigh yourself after a big meal because it can add a couple of kilograms. In this case, we can compensate with a light meal and physical activity. Obsessively checking your weight does not have positive effects, but induces discouraging pathological mechanisms. You only need to weigh yourself once a week.


Food and emotions

What we eat not only satisfies our hunger, but it also feeds the spirit. Food has always acted as a filter for our relational needs. It often compensates for emotional voids, stress, anxiety and boredom. Sweets, for example, (especially chocolate) are associated with the need for love, and can be used to mask insecurities and hardships. So we might say that food nourishes and comforts us.


Enemy food

When food loses its vital role and becomes exclusively satisfying and therapeutic, it can become an enemy of our health. Thinking of food as a source of consolation and compensation is the main obstacle to weight loss. Loving yourself means knowing how to control your diet, helping you build a positive self-image.



For as long as mankind has existed, so has self-esteem. It hinges on the implicit and explicit feedback from people with important roles in our upbringing, such as parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and teachers. It is, however, possible to build awareness of your worth by recognising your achievements and qualities. When we have low self-esteem, we tend to focus on our external appearance, especially on our weight, and never feel satisfied.


Feeling better

To understand ourselves we must first understand our emotional reactions and their associated behaviours, because being aware of how we perceive ourselves helps us, in turn, to love ourselves. Psychological well-being starts withrecognising  our rights in relation to others, such as the right to say no without feeling guilty or the right to express a mood. Let us break away from the prejudices we hold against ourselves and give ourselves a chance to be who we want to be.


Towards change

We can visualise the road to change as a wheel with several stages: it is likely that we will have to stop at each of these several times, and that we may slip up, because, realistically, we know the road is not easy. The important thing is to not become discouraged and to focus on the goal. Here’s how you do it: find a reason to change; foster your goal; accept that change is difficult, and do not rush to achieve the goal, because the more gradual the change, the more solid it will be over time.


Be considerate of yourself

Reflect on your lifestyle. Do you want to change something? You can! When you take it one step at a time, small attitude changes can improve your life. To achieve this, you must work on the interior fracture; that is, the conflict between where you are and where you’d like to be. In this state of discomfort we will find the impetus for change.


How stressful

Stress affects us when we suffer the threat of an external or psychological challenge. The most common sources of stress range from  major, life-changing and economically draining events (from the purchase of a house, to the failure of a company); highly overwhelming periods of time (such as waiting for a promotion, or school exams); or bereavement (including illness, accidents and separations). How does our body respond? Often through psychosomatic manifestations, ranging from palpitations to sweating, laboured breathing and stomach aches.


Reacting to stress

It is not the event itself that is a source of stress, but the way we interpret it emotionally. We should therefore try to take control of the negative situation and monitor possible threats. A series of “automatic thoughts” follow a stressful situation. Such thoughts are a fruit of our life experience. We are never fully aware of them, and they may prove to be incorrect. It takes time to identify them, but you can modify them in order to learn to control the resulting emotional reactions.



We cannot avoid stress, but we can learn to manage it through our capacity to adapt. This is called “coping”. It is about understanding how we perceive the stressful situation, taking action to overcome it and controlling our emotions. In practice, we assess the situation and come up with solutions. Pay careful attention to this step. If you think “I can do something”, then the solution will be focused on actions. If you think “I can’t do anything”, the solution will spill over into emotions.


Coping strategies

These have to do with various spheres: the behavioural (actions to address the problem); the cognitive (information collected to address the situation) and the affective (emotional reactions related to the management of the event). Depending on the sphere, we can identify four coping strategies: the control strategy (mastering the situation); the social support strategy (asking for help); the refusal strategy (denying the problem) and the exit strategy (deflecting the problem).



This is a particular form of coping which consists in the person’s ability to maintain a good level of adaptability even in particularly unfavourable conditions. With this strategy, self-confidence means understanding your capabilities and limitations. You are determined to continue despite the difficulties, and seek to minimise the hardships in life.

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