Become aware of your body as your thoughts change…
In sophrology, rather than experiencing the mind and body as two separate systems, we recognise that the mind and body are linked in delicate yet fundamental ways. The daily experiences we think of as happening “in our minds” actually produce sensations in the body and the body moves into a posture to reflect these thoughts and emotions. The reverse is also true and the posture of the body in turn affects the emotions.
When we are feeling down, we sit or walk with shoulders slouched and tend to look down or even hang the head down (as if we are carrying the world on our shoulders), this ‘body-language’ sends a message to the brain telling it we are ‘down’, ‘blue’, etc.. you will find that with the body in this posture it is not easy or even impossible to experience light and happy emotions.
The reverse is also the case:
When the shoulders are up and back,
the eyes are looking up or at least straight ahead,
the corners of the lips are pulled upwards (as if smiling)
The breathing is deep …
In this posture, either sitting or standing, you will find that it is not easy to have heavy, sad thoughts or emotions.
We suggest that you try the above and see what happens. You can think of an unhappy moment and then a happy moment and see how the body changes, for you to really feel these two different emotions.
Can you feel sad if you are smiling with your head held up high?
This is one of the first lessons that we learn in a sophrology course. The posture of the body affects the emotions that we are able to experience. The thoughts in the mind produce emotions that affect the body posture.
This is quite obvious when we think of actors. We would not believe that an actor is sad if they came on stage upright and smiling. However, we don’t often realise that in fact it is not at all easy to be sad when we are upright looking up and smiling.
This knowledge is useful in everyday life when we often let past unhappy memories affect our life thus determining how we feel now from how we felt in the past. If we want to we can take a little ‘holiday’ from these unhappy thoughts by straightening in the body, looking up, taking a deep breath and smiling. Then to keep this positive process in motion it is a good idea if we have some happy memories to slot into the mind and spend some moments remembering how good life is. If we cannot think of a good memory then choose gratitude and appreciation for everything that is around you right now.
If you are currently going through a tough period in your life it is even more important to take ‘happy’ breaks so that you lower stress levels and give your immune system a regular boost. You will then be able to deal more easily with difficult situations and the challenges of life.
Regular practice is important when learning anything new and is an important part of the sophrology training programme. We suggest that you try out different emotions and notice the body sensations and position then move the body position and see if you can maintain the emotion. The more you practice this in everyday life the better prepared you will be when the going get’s tough.
Sophrology training is used by top athletes in order to maintain optimal body and mind focus. The benefit is that it not only helps them in competitions and training, it also positively affects their everyday life.
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