What Is Sophrology And Why Should You Try It? by Nick Harris-Fry
Use dynamic meditation to relax and build mental resilience
If you think meditation and mindfulness sound good but struggle to engage every time you try them, you might find you react more positively to sophrology. This practice involves a dynamic form of meditation that can be a better fit for people who struggle to clear their mind while sitting still.
What is sophrology?
Sophrology is a type of dynamic meditation that is designed to help you focus on the present. It is different from other meditative practices because it engages both the mind and body, which allows you to enter into a state of full relaxation more quickly and easily.
It is a great performance tool that connects you with your motivation to perform and helps you prepare for important events, whether it’s a work presentation or a race.
It involves a combination of breathwork techniques, relaxation, gentle body movements, meditation and visualisation techniques designed to bring you into the alpha brainwave state. In this state, the body achieves complete relaxation, yet the mind is clear and fully alert. This peak state conditions the mind and body to become less stressed, calmer, sharper and more focused and resilient.
How can it benefit people in their everyday lives?
Sophrology is really beneficial as an everyday support tool to help those who are constantly on the go, and are prone to taking on the stresses and pressures that surround their busy lives. Practised daily, it can be an incredibly helpful method to support mental health, especially during times of high stress and fear.
The routine of life and work can be overwhelming and tiring, so the deep relaxation element of sophrology will help your body and mind to de-stress and recuperate, which is really important in preventing burn-out. With regular practice, sophrology helps you to become more mindful of your needs, limits, strengths and capabilities, so you can create more happiness in daily life.
Top sports stars such as tennis player Yannick Noah and golfer Sergio García have attributed some of their success to sophrology. Why do athletes use it?
Athletes place great focus on keeping their nerves and anticipatory anxiety – a fear or deep worry about something imminent like an important match or race – in check, as they know this can make or break their performance.
This is why they implement management systems like practising sophrology. The mental and emotional preparation is a standard part of athletes’ routines and they stick to it as rigorously as they stick to their physical fitness programmes, training schedules, nutrition plans and recovery processes. In this way, they become more resilient and can activate what they’ve learned as and when situations arise.
Do you need to practise it every day, or just around pressure situations?
It’s beneficial to practise it every day – that’s how good habits form. Practice takes just ten minutes and is designed to fit into your daily routine. The techniques can also be practised as and when you need it during those important situations.