Sophrology is a method of relaxation that is sometimes likened to psychotherapy, hypnosis, or complementary therapy.
It is above all a particular method of relaxation which allows you to focus your priorities and soothe your mind.
If you’re looking for a safe haven to lay down your anxieties, simple exercises can help you sweep away your worries, calm your anxiety, think differently, and see life in a positive way.
Let’s discover together sophrology and its invaluable benefits.
The origins of sophrology
Sophrology was created in the 60s by Alfonso Calceydo, a Colombian neuropsychiatrist who tried to deepen research on human consciousness.
His technique is based on a mixture of Eastern and Western philosophies, drawing inspiration from yoga, Buddhist meditation, and Japanese Zen.
What is sophrology?
Sophrology offers different techniques often used in combination:
- breathing exercises
- smooth movements
- body awareness
Its goal is to encourage personal development and learn to slow down your pace of life, put problems into perspective and relax.
It tempers the stress of modern life.
The benefits of sophrology
Many testimonials confirm the benefits of sophrology.
Its followers report a feeling of peace, confidence, and lightness.
You should know that this technique is very frequently used to fight pain, counter mental rumination, and soothe a mind tormented by recurring thoughts.
It results in moderation of anxiety, better concentration, and improved sleep.
Sophrology and pain
Some scientific studies show the benefits of sophrology, especially during certain medical procedures causing stress and anxiety.
It helps overcome fear and pain.
Thus, a study conducted in 2018 on a sample of around sixty people treating cancer showed a significant reduction in anxiety and pain during conventional care.
Participants were encouraged to focus on their breathing while recalling positive events in order to induce a close to hypnosis state.
Wellness during pregnancy
Sophrology exercises can help pregnant women as well as infants.
In 2019, a study concluded that the practice of sophrology techniques has a very positive effect on the maternal pelvic floor; women were delivered more quickly and postpartum hemorrhages and incontinence were reduced.
Infants, meanwhile, benefited from a better Apgar score (assessment of newborn characteristics) and optimal weight compared to the control group.
How to practice sophrology?
You can practice sophrology exercises by yourself or guided by a certified sophrologist.
The latter can teach you simple exercises and techniques that cover the 12 levels of sophrology.
A traditional session combines breathing techniques, muscle relaxation, visualization methods, and gentle movements.
These exercises aim to locate the areas of the body affected by muscle tension while becoming aware of the experienced sensations and feelings.
The sophrologist then guides you to try to resolve the problem generating these physical and moral pains.
It can thus help you improve your concentration during certain tasks or adopt a relaxed behavior with your relations, etc.
How to find a sophrologist near you?
You can first consult the International Sophrology Federation to locate a practitioner.
If you cannot find one nearby, be aware that some sophrologists practice teleconsultation or even phone consultation.
You can also find many online videos that allow you to test simple exercises and thus introduce you to sophrology.
Examples of sophrology exercises
You can try these simple exercises for yourself to get an idea.
Sophrology and sleep
Sophrology techniques can be used to improve sleep disorders.
As you lie in bed ready to sleep, become aware of your body position.
Feel the pressure points of your body on the mattress, the place where your clothes are in contact with your skin.
Perceive all the sensations of your body.
Be sure to eliminate any muscle stiffness.
Then stretch as much as you can and tense every muscle with vigor.
Inhale, then slowly exhale, relax and release all tension by visualizing it.
They come out of your body as a dark color, a bubble, or a mist.
Control your breathing.
Place your hands on your stomach and follow its movements with each inhale and exhale.
Follow the air flowing in and out of your nostrils.
Try to regulate your breathing by allowing the same time for inspiration and expiration.
I breathe in 5 seconds, I breathe out 5 seconds.
Feel peace invade your mind and the beneficial relaxation your body perceives.
Cultivate that feeling of fullness and calm.
And whenever your mind races and worries, remember that unique moment of serenity.
Feel your senses
Close your eyes, and project yourself into a place you particularly like.
Use all your senses: the air on your skin, a scent you love…
Imagine everything you see and feel.
Dwell on each sound, each smell, each color, one by one.
As you inhale, imagine you are inhaling waves of serenity.
As you exhale, this feeling spreads through every part of your body.
Each hour of the day, take a minute to breathe deeply and locate the tensions in your limbs.
Slow down your thoughts by returning to the sensations felt in this place that means so much to you.
Reframe your thoughts
Whenever your mind races and thoughts collide, come back to the present moment.
To achieve this, focus on your breathing, listen to the sounds around you, and notice the sensations in your body.
Cultivating this awareness becomes a barrier in your daily life.
You can pause for a moment to focus on that feeling of serenity at any time of the day.
Although you can learn on your own, a sophrologist will help you go further.
But even if you are assisted by a professional, you will have to continue this work alone to enjoy the benefits of sophrology.
To get results, you have to practice every day.
Schedule a specific time to give yourself some relaxation time.
Sophrology can take care of many life issues, but setting a goal for yourself is more effective.
Define a maximum of 3 goals to be achieved by your practice, and work on each specific point to improve it with consistency.
Organize a specific place to do your exercises.
It should be calm, quiet, and distraction-free.
To keep your body comfortable, use cushions and blankets.
How long does a sophrology session last?
To obtain a good result, it is imperative to give yourself a session of at least 15 minutes each day.
If your quest for serenity is intense, make sure to make sophrology a daily habit.
Try this technique for a few weeks to assess the changes over the days and discern the real effects of these sessions on your well-being.
It is important to focus on an exercise that clearly brings you its benefits rather than simply changing to discover other methods.
Perseverance is the key to personal development.
Remember, however, that it is not easy, you will surely encounter some difficulties and feel some brakes.
But this is part of the process of inner change that you must accept to have the chance to escape the constant aggression of modern life.
* Recommended reading:
Protocols of Sophrology: 20 practical cases (#ad)
The 20 practical cases presented in this book are divided into four main types: the improvement of daily life; mental preparation; accompaniment of medical treatment; pathological behaviors.
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