The phone is ringing, your baby is crying and you have just come home from work completely exhausted. You feel so tired and drained, that you wish you could go on holiday right now. While it’s tempting to just pack your bags and leave, there is still something you can do to rescue the situation. You can take a moment to focus on your breathing. You may be surprised how much something so simple can be so effective.
In your arsenal of stress-management tools you should include Sophrology. Sophrology is a technique that can help you manage emotions such as anxiety and deal with any situations feeling calmer thanks to specific breathing and visualisation exercises.
Sophrology is a mind/body technique that uses dynamic relaxation to achieve a sense of tranquillity and support you in any type of situations, particularly the challenging ones.
Challenges such as stress and insomnia, for example, are often related. They can be the result of our over-thinking and worrying about what went on at work or about a future event like a presentation, which then affects our ability to sleep. By concentrating on reducing our stress levels and quietening the mind during the day, we can achieve a more restful sleep at night. We discussed this in a previous article about preparing yourself for sleep.
Each stage of our lives comes with different situations and challenges, and as we grow older we learn how to deal with them through our experience. However, sometimes we find ourselves not able to cope even in familiar situations. For example, as teenagers, even when we had revised and had passed exams successfully, we might struggle with our studies because there are competing activities that take our time and attention such as sports training. As parents, we may experience tiredness after a normal day at work and we wonder why we don’t have as much energy as before.
Sometimes we develop phobias we didn’t have previously – maybe because of a traumatic event. Exploring the mind/body connection helps us to understand what goes on and how we are reacting to situations.
While we shouldn’t try to suppress or control emotions, we can learn to let thoughts come and go without affecting us. Through breathing exercises, gentle movement and visualisation, we can form new habits to help us feel more relaxed and balanced.
Getting to know our body and becoming aware of how we tense up during stressful times is the first step in our self-development journey. Once we become more familiar with how our body and mind function, we can take action to lower our stress levels, gain a sense of well-being and improve our quality of life. We can reverse our automatic reaction to stress, for example, tensing our neck and shoulders, by learning to release the muscles in the neck and shoulders and enjoy a sense of well-being.
The founder of Sophrology, Professor Alfonso Caycedo, wanted to find a new way to reconcile Eastern practices with Western medicine to offer a simple yet effective discipline that anyone can do to deal with anything in our daily life.
How Sophrology Can Help You in Your Daily Life
Since 1960, the official birth of Sophrology, numerous athletes have used Sophrology to help them improve their sporting performance. The applications of Sophrology can extend to many areas of life, beyond sports. In France, for example, Sophrology is widely used by midwives for birth preparation.
Ideally, you should learn Sophrology with a qualified practitioner either in one-to-one sessions or in group sessions. You can then practise at home by listening back to the recorded sessions that your practitioner will make available for you. For best results, Sophrology requires a daily practice and you only need about 10 minutes to feel the benefits. A regular practice can help to achieve a sense of serenity and, if you suffer from some aches and pain, provide some pain relief as you shift the mind’s focus from the pain itself.
Sophrology can support you to become more adaptable and flexible, so that you can cope with different types of situations, for example keeping calm during a traffic jam or before an important work meeting.
Generally speaking, 10 Sophrology sessions should help to learn the foundations and the tools to help you manage your stress or the issue you want to deal with, then monthly sessions as a maintenance programme. Sophrology aims to find practical solutions using specific exercises that are tailored to your needs, however it is not a therapy such as psychoanalysis or other talking therapies. It can be used in conjunction to them to find a happy balance.
Over time, a regular Sophrology practice will give you a better insight into your inner life, your true potential and your true self. It can have a deep transformational power from within, allowing you to become the best version of yourself. You will increasingly notice how people relate differently with you, with more openness and more willingness to help. Discover a whole new world around you, as if it was for the first time.
In the eternal words of Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”.
To book a session please email [email protected] and remember that Skype appointments are also available if you can’t attend in person.