Sophrology is related to mindfulness training – learning to focus on the here and now. While it may sound new to you, it actually dates back decades. In 1960, doctor and neurosurgeon Alfonso Caycedo developed sophrology as a merger of western and eastern relaxation techniques. These techniques include hypnosis and yoga, but go beyond both. The benefits of sophrology, in managing stress in particular, have been well documented.
In a typical sophrology session, your therapist will guide you through exercises that focus on breathing and body awareness. You will learn to develop and maintain calmness. Sophrology can be thought of as a form of meditation. Its techniques can have significant impacts on stress and other issues of the body and mind.
The Benefits of Sophrology in Managing Stress
Our bodies and minds maintain a series of feedback loops. If you’re unhappy, forcing yourself to smile may actually cheer you up. And if you are relaxed and you force yourself to breathe rapidly, your body will being to show signs of panic, regardless of whether you have anything to be upset about. So while stress may be a consequence of your stressful job, you can learn to manage it.
Sophrology teaches you techniques for relaxing. This lets the stress of your life bleed away. While you may not be able to change your stressful job, the stress doesn’t need to dominate your life.
Boosting Memory and Concentration
Stress impacts memory profoundly. Because sophrology focuses on relaxation, improving memory can be part of the package. And because it focuses on teaching you to live in the here and now, you may notice dramatic changes in concentration. You may even see the benefits of sophrology after only one or two sessions.
Pain is the most common motive people have for seeking medical care or for medicating themselves. If you suffer chronic pain, sophrology may help. For example, research has shown sophrology’s techniques may help ease back pain.
Lack of confidence grows out of placing too great an importance on what others think. Learning to focus places you in the pilot’s seat of your life. Sophrology teaches you to focus on your needs and desires, not others’ expectations.
And as you learn to shift your attention to your own needs, you may be better able to stretch beyond your own perceived limitations.
Sophrology puts you at the center of your life. Its attention to breathing techniques and body awareness help you zero in on your own needs. We often become too caught up in meeting the needs of others, leaving little time for ourselves. Your sophrology therapist will guide you through these techniques, improving your ability to function in the present.
Sophrology is more than a series of therapy techniques. It is a philosophy designed to make people more self aware. And while it is similar to hypnotherapy and mindfulness, its purpose, goals, and techniques are different. Fundamentally, sophrology’s goal is to cut down on stress and improve focus.
Once you have practice at sophrology’s techniques, you can incorporate them into your day. Spend a few minutes working on your breathing, letting stress wash out of your system. A short period each day can help you manage elements of your life you previously thought were unmanageable.