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Napalm

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The impression I get from this article is that autogenic training is primarily intended for people who are "on edge" most of the time. I can say with confidence that I am not one of those people. I am already a very calm and collected person, so I'm not sure how much I would benefit from autogenic training in that regard.

Having said that, what appeals to me about autogenic training is the part where you create your own affirmations in order to change certain aspects of your behaviour. See, I'm still in high school, and unless I find a subject very interesting or engaging, I usually can't force myself to work/study without semi-procrastinating, so that my motivation is the time constraint. I've managed to get good marks so far, but I have a feeling that this method won't work so well once I'm in university. Thus, I'd like to improve my work ethic before then, but if changing that aspect of my behaviour is the only real benefit I'd get from autogenic training (since, as I said, I'm already very calm and collected), and there's another method out there for improving one's work ethic that would be easier/take less time, I'd opt to do it, instead.

So my question to you guys is: is autogenic training worth it, in my case, or is there a better alternative for my purposes? Also, if I seem to have some misconceptions about autogenic training, please feel free to correct me.
 

David Baxter

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I'd never heard of this "therapy" before. My impression from a quick read is that it's merely a combination of progressive muscle relaxation therapy (there are several books and resources on teaching yourself this) and various "self-hypnosis" and cognitive restructuring (CBT) elements.

If your primary goal is to better manage stress or anxiety, or to improve sleep, this will likely be of some benefit.

I'm not sure it's going to do very much to help you with procrastination or lack of motivation, unless that is anxiety-based.
 

Napalm

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If your primary goal is to better manage stress or anxiety, or to improve sleep, this will likely be of some benefit.

I'm not sure it's going to do very much to help you with procrastination or lack of motivation, unless that is anxiety-based.
I serously doubt that it has anything to do with anxiety... and I think you may have misinterpreted what I meant when I said, "unless I find a subject very interesting or engaging, I usually can't force myself to work/study without semi-procrastinating, so that my motivation is the time constraint".

It's like this: if I'm interested enough in a particular project, my work habits become extremely diligent. Unnecessarily diligent, even. However, if my interest in a project is below a certain level, I lose all will to work on it. Even when I think about how much it will help me in the future to NOT procrastinate on it, I still can't get myself to work without some other motivating factor present to kick my @$$ into gear.

That's my problem. There's no in-between; I'm either gung-ho or totally apathetic. I'd like to change that, to be able to at least get myself started on projects that I may not be crazy about without having to procrastinate in order to give myself other forms of motivation. I think that that way, even if I started out with a half-hearted work ethic on a project, I could use that "kindling" and build it up into a "fire", as opposed to just waiting for enough pressure to build in order to create an "explosion".
 

David Baxter

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No, I understood you. That's what I meant when I said

I'm not sure it's going to do very much to help you with procrastination or lack of motivation

What you need is a more behavior-based approach -- set up a schedule for studying or whatever and then build in a system of rewards for yourself for when you keep to that schedule. Getting away from distractions and finding places to work that are conducive to focusing are also important.

Your school counselor may be able to help you with the specifics.
 

ThatLady

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This isn't an uncommon problem for students in my experience. I've known many young people for whom this is a real problem. Some of them seem to benefit by study groups, getting their motivation from the others who are studying with them. Others benefit by finding a tutor they like for subjects that don't interest them. It's not about being unable to learn the subject, but about having someone they enjoy being with to assist along the way to spark interest and find something within the subject matter that will generate interest.

When we're young, motivation to do things we don't like isn't all that easy to come by. That's something that develops over time, and with experience. Yet, it can be done if you're willing to reach out for the tools that will help you. What helps each individual is different. Talking to the teacher or professor of those classes that you're having trouble getting into can sometimes help to motivate if the teacher is good at finding ways to help you get interested.

Good luck to you. You sound as though you really want to do well, and that's an important adjunct to learning. :)
 

Napalm

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I spoke with my teachers, and one of them had an idea that I think will work wonders. Basically, I just have to appeal to my competitive nature. When I get an assignment that I sense I will have little motivation to do, I'll challenge myself to complete it before a certain time. If I don't do it before then, I'll have to do some kind of penalty, like 500 push-ups or something like that (and before you suggest that 500 push-ups is nigh-suicidal, let me say that I'm already a beast at push-ups, so 500 of them, while definitely a challenge, won't be harmful to me. And no, I don't do girl push-ups; I'm too macho for that :D. I use straight legs, feet together, balanced on my toes, and I almost let my chest touch the ground on the "down" phase of my reps). I'll get a witness to each of these challenges, as well, just to make them official. I'm looking forward to seeing how well this will work!

~Sean
 

Halo

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Sean,

I am glad to hear that you spoke to one of your teachers and that together you came up with an idea that may work. I truly hope that it does and good luck with those push-ups, if you don't meet your own imposed deadline :D
 

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