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Do you constantly feel anxious and stressed? Wondering when the last time was when you woke up feeling energised and motivated to take on the new day? Given the modern framework of life, personal obligations mixed in with work responsibilities and duties ram up our daily schedules. On top of this, our personal desires to strive for results and strike a balance between work leave us with little to no room to breathe. Among the commotion of this repetitive process, the need of self-care and taking time to disconnect to reconnect and reconfigure our mind, body and spirit is pushed out of sight. Although taking time to escape the city could make a significant difference, not all breaks are the same nor achieve the same results. Going for a sophrology retreat is an option to provide you with the opportunity to step back, re-evaluate life, refocus and gain clarity into personal perspectives of purpose.

What is Sophrology?

Sophrology is a method to improve personal wellbeing, health and personal development. These goals can be achieved through the following techniques:

In brief, Sophrology can be expressed as “the study of consciousness in harmony.” Inspired by other mindfulness-based practices such as Japanese Zen, meditation and yoga, this practice was developed by Professor Alfonso Cavcedo in 1960. While practicing medicine at the Madrid Provincial Hospital, the Spanish neuro-psychiatrist was attempting to find a way of healing the returning members of the armed forces under minimal psychiatrist treatment and drugs. The ailing members of the armed forces came in droves and between them, the majority suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (otherwise known as PTSD) and anxiety.

Given these circumstances, Professor Alfonso Cavcedo began investigating Western practices including hypnosis, phenomenology. After marrying a French Yoga practitioner, he integrated elements of Easter relaxation techniques, Zen, Yoga and Meditation to pen the term Sophrology, which he describes as “learning to live.” This personal development and therapy technique has been widely accepted across Europe, a recommended practice offered to pregnant women, school students and sportsmen.

Benefits of sophrology

Subject to contrary therapies, Sophrology is not another means to narrating life. Rather, this method aims to help individuals discover emotional balance by being distanced from difficult emotions and feelings. Suppression of emotions and feelings is the root to emotional, mental and physical illnesses hence, consciously letting of the ferocious feelings through deep breathing and physical movement is encouraged and underscored in the practice of Sophrology. The benefits? As below:

It helps manage stress and anxiety

Stress is inevitable given the circumstances of life and work interconnected into one so the best way of dealing with it is learning how to manage it. This particular technique helps you relax by teaching you how to let the stresses and anxiety bleed out of your system to not dominate and overwhelm your day to day.

It manages pain

Pain is the primary reason as to why people seek medical attention. Physical pains can be a result of stress and emotionally induced factors such as a relationship breakdown, financial fears or employment stability. Sophrology does not only address the underlying factors causing these foreign feelings to surface but also, provides patients with respite amidst the pain.

It boosts your memory and concentration

Stress affects your ability to concentrate as well as your memory. The technique underscores the importance of living life in the presence and learning to live. With these aspects, this method helps individuals to focus on the here and now, upholding and improving concentration.

It improves your self-confidence

A crumble in self-confidence is oftentimes associated to the heavy emphasis and regards to what others think about us. Through centralising the attention to personal needs, goals and desires, the focus shifts back onto you and what matters most to you. We are the primary key-holder to our own happiness yet if we are constantly striving to sit snugly in the social definitions of what is acceptable and what is not, then we are pulling away from our personal identity and true-self. This technique helps us identity what matters to us and how to fulfil the goals. We are then placed in a better position to go beyond personal limitations, hindered by self-doubt and fear.

Final thoughts

In most cases, we get caught up in fulfilling the needs of others such that we have little or no time left for our own needs. Sophrology is an effective way of cutting down on the stress and anxiety caused by life’s demands and thus improving one’s ability to function presently.
Once you learn the techniques from your therapist, you can incorporate them in your daily schedule to manage elements in your life that you thought were unmanageable.