Life today is fast-paced, hectic, always in a hurry, and laden with competition. The anxiety and stress this causes sometimes goes undetected for years – we simply live with the effects that we take for granted because we become distanced from what life should actually be.
Often this build up takes its toll with anxiety or panic attacks, or depression and feelings of being overwhelmed. All of this is stress that the body has been trying to cope with for years. Burnout we call it sometimes. There is an air of resignation about it – as though what else can one expect if one is supposed to keep up the pace. And yet there is a way to manage the strains of a hurried life – it’s called Sophrology.
Why Sophrology works
Sophrology might be best described as relaxation through slow movement. It is a combination of meditation, mindfulness and breathing; a harmony of consciousness and dynamic, focused physical motions to bring about peace and wellbeing in both body and mind.
Through gentle time out with your body and mind, you can learn a series of exercises and mind visioning that can entirely change your life, the way you feel, and the way you react to the pace of your life. Many try to change their lifestyle, which doesn’t always work because you can’t always change your job, or ditch family responsibilities, etc. Sophrology instead gives you tools to use at any time and place to bring you back to harmony – in both body and soul – thus giving you the self-enhancing power to cope instead of being sucked down a spiral of negative emotions.
You may be told to calm down, live for the moment, develop a positive mindset – but these are easier said than done. Sophrology’s purpose is to hone your abilities to do these things through a particular guided process; repeating these actions will ultimately enable them to become second nature, easy to access, and fulfilling to practice. After all, everybody wants to be happier, at peace, and able to re-imagine their lives as manageable and enjoyable.
Before you can inculcate any positive tools for managing your life, you have to learn how to calm down. When you are calm you can think more clearly, you can analyse and assess, you can more easily evaluate and make decisions. These capabilities are vital for improving physical and emotional wellbeing. Sophrology has visualisation techniques and body exercises to bring calm and peace – low-key exercises which can be adjusted to suit every individual.
In order to conquer your anxiety, you need to become aware of your feelings. You need to be able to ‘listen’ to your emotions. This is the way we reconnect the mind with the body: you become aware of your tension, you know it for what it really is and what may be causing it – and can immediately put Sophrology techniques into play. Recognise the stress, feel it, before it becomes difficult to control and suddenly overwhelms you.
Once you feel your stress rising, you can begin to harness your mind to control negative thoughts. Perceptions can change – you can visualise success in handling a situation, reducing your stress and giving you strength to cope. Unfortunately, long term exposure to stress and anxiety can very easily lead to a pattern of self-reinforcing negative thinking. You can break this habit by literally visualising a better picture in a quiet mind, and reducing harmful emotion. This trains your brain to respond more positively and react in the way you have already determined in your mind.
Once you see a positive outcome in your mind, you can achieve positive action. Immediately you are more empowered to cope with daily life, with challenges. You are able to motivate physical action that will confirm the powerful positive image you have in your head. There is tremendous satisfaction in taking the action to meet the success you have already mentally designed. Getting rid of negativity in this way, clears the route for action, makes taking decisions easier, and facilitates the formulation and implementation of plans.
Once you master these techniques, you become more powerful in yourself. You are able to build awareness of your own abilities to tackle challenges, find solutions, develop more energy – and realise your power. All of this makes for greater confidence. You are able listen to your body, tune into your mind, find those inner resources you never really developed before. You have greater control through a physical and emotional balance that can change everything.
Looking for a quick fix? The ‘Pump’ technique is very useful
- Stand tall, back straight. Close your eyes, arms to your sides.
- Hone your mind to fix on areas in the body where you feel tension.
- Clench your fists, and take in a deep breath, and hold the breath.
- Now lift your shoulders up and down until you need to breathe out – this
pumping action helps to oxygenate the brain.
- As you exhale, slowly relax your fists as you visualise tension and anxiety draining away through your arms, hands and fingertips.
This exercise technique will help you reduce the physical effects of stress in moments of high tension long enough to clear your head, and perhaps find a better way forward. Once you have learned the full range of life-changing Sophrology methods, you are able to practise these at every occasion you feel you need to slow down, and re-energise. Sophrology delivers a peaceful energy, a harmonised power.
Sophrology: an effective route to a new you
Currently revitalised as one of the most popular wellness trends in the world, Sophro-Ki® Sophrology translates to the “the study of consciousness in harmony”. It is essentially a holistic system, including physical and mental exercises, which promotes health, well-being, relaxation, and alertness.
Founded in the 1960s by Alfonso Caycedo, a professor of Psychiatry and Neurology in Madrid, Sophro-Ki® Sophrology was first created to treat war veterans suffering from PTSD and depression. Combining techniques from Zen, yoga, meditation and hypnosis, the system allows participants to release and redirect challenging emotions. Positive effects include: more focus, less stress, better sleep, more self-confidence, improved chronic conditions, and greater happiness.
In 2006, Dorna Revie, founded Energy Centre, the first school in the world to offer Sophrologist diploma courses in English. Sophrology Center Online, the newest of Dorna’s projects, has been established to meet the growing demand from around the world.
To find out more, please visit: www.sophrologycenteronline.com