Are you too busy to meditate? Can’t meditate? Do you wish you could meditate, but the thought of being away from your smartphone for a few minutes fills you with dread? As we get more and more distracted by social media and other interruptions, our attention span becomes shorter and we find it difficult to focus on any task. If only we were able to meditate for a few minutes a day! However, that requires sitting down in a lotus position or chanting a mantra, right? Actually, you can be mindful in different ways, some of which can be quite dynamic so you can easily fit them into your busy schedule.
Sophrology may be the right fit for you. Its practice is simple and empowering.
Sophrology, also called dynamic relaxation, works with consciousness and gradually teaches us to meditate along many other benefits. It uses our consciousness’ inherent power to positively influence body and mind, connect with our inner resources, and transform our daily life. Sophrology is easy to implement: you can take a few minutes’ break during your working day, sit down at your desk and close your eyes. You don’t need to “empty your mind” from all thoughts, which can be quite difficult in the middle of your day, as the practice will naturally soothe your body and mind and help you reach a state of calm and serenity.
Sophrology uniquely mixes Eastern philosophies and practices (yoga, meditation) with Western science and psychology (relaxation, phenomenology) giving you access to your consciousness and encouraging a state of harmony and serenity in body and mind. Through a step-by-step practice to include breathing, concentration, gentle movement and visualisation, the mind and body are both engaged through a series of calming and grounding exercises. If your mind is overactive, a technique like Sophrology can help to bring calm very quickly. As you go deeper into the 12 steps of the method, you will discover that Sophrology is much more than a stress-management method and gives you access to a unique process of transformation, connecting you to who you truly are, what you value and aspire to.
Think about a Sophrology practice as taking on a journey of self-discovery. Using a Sophrology audio download or being guided by your Sophrologist’s voice is probably the easiest way to learn. The first steps include a relaxing body scan, using your breath to let go of worries or body tensions, and learning to tune into your resilient self. As well as teaching us to be more present, manage stress and deal with anxiety, Sophrology can also help us prepare for important events like being on stage, or even help you transform your relationship with your past, so you can notice more of your resilience and use it to move forward.
You can start with just 10 minutes a day and and enjoy the immediate effects of the practice, feeling more relaxed and at peace. Practising over a few weeks can truly transform the way you feel and connect with the world around you.
When I was 15, I was struggling with my energy levels, feeling tired all the time, lacking motivation and direction. It felt like my body was letting me down. My GP couldn’t find anything wrong with me and advised me to see a Sophrologist, which I did. I turned my life around in five sessions. I realised that I could be in the driving seat of my life using the practice to discover more about myself, manage my emotions, develop my inner resources and unlock my potential.
You may be facing a very specific challenge or a health issue, so you can use Sophrology to get clarity of your situation and cultivate specific resources that would help you, improve your sleep or feel more energised. You can also practise Sophrology to positively connect with yourself and be more mindful and happy. If you see a Sophrologist for a 1-to-1 session, it will usually include a recording of a tailored practice to help you practise at home: repetition brings transformation.
In Continental Europe, particularly in France, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland, Sophrology is widely available to help manage stress in the corporate sector, for sportspeople to prepare for a competition or for mothers-to-be to prepare for birth.
There is plenty of literature about Sophrology in French (700 titles in French on Amazon) and now a first practical guide in English, The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology, which aims to guide you through some simple exercises and give you an introduction to Sophrology as a practice and as a philosophy.
Sophrology can help you become more solutions-orientated and more open to new experiences as you connect with the natural dynamic force of consciousness through your practice. When we become too involved in negative thinking, we are not as open to new ideas, suggestions or opportunities. It will help you become more creative and productive allowing to discover and cultivate what truly matters for you.