Sophrology translates to a study of consciousness and harmony. It is a blend of meditation and mindfulness to be an active and positive change.
The process involves uniting the mind and body to tackle problems such as anxiety, stress and sleep deprivation. Doing this involves a series of mental and physical activities to calm your body and open your mind.
The technique was founded in the 1960s when neuro-scientist Alfonso Caycedo blended western medicine with eastern practices.
Today the practice is very popular in Europe, particularly in France and Switzerland. Sophrology is taught in schools to tackle exam stress, and the French Rugby team are said to have used it before the last World Cup.
So how can you do it?
Sophrology is a guided practice, so finding a sophrologist to work with is pertinent to the process.
However, there are a few tips to get you started.
- Sit comfortably and think back to a positive experience. We have a tendency to focus on the negative, such as messing up at work, whilst letting the positive pass us by. Think of a positive experience and focus on your body: how does it feel? Focus on the calmness in each part of your body.
Doing this regularly can get you used to the calm feeling and enable you to recreate it when you’re feeling stressed.
- Sit comfortably and breathe in. Then sit up straight, while holding your breath and feel where any tension lies. Focus your mind on that spot and as you exhale, let the tension out of the area and sit back comfortably. Repeat this a few times.
- Sit up straight and take a few deep breaths. Pay attention to your body: what are you touching? What can you feel? Inhale and bring your hands out in front of you, then tense every part of your body. As you exhale let go of the tension and relax.
Doing these exercises for ten minutes a day can be a great foundation to begin practicing Sophrology. Once you find a sophrologist, they can give you a tailored guide of the different cycles of the technique such as visualisation and body scans.
The aim of Sophrology is to positive attributes such as confidence, and to unite your body and mind for a more enjoyable life.
Words by Corrie David