With our lifestyles becoming more and more hectic, it’s no surprise stress and anxiety are on the rise. I see more and more clients suffering from stress, anxiety and even panic attacks. Being constantly under pressure and worrying all the time is simply awful. In addition there is the fear of not knowing when it’s going to snap.
For people subject to stress and anxiety Sophrology can be a life saver. Imagine being able to replace worry with calm, release anger and fear and replace anxiety with a deep sense of wellbeing.
By finding little moments during the day, at home, at work or on the go, practicing sophrology can make the difference between peacefully coping with daily challenges or getting swept away into a down spiral of negative emotions.
So how can sophrology help release stress and anxiety?
1 – Calming down
Although relaxation is not the aim of sophrology, sophrology includes several relaxation techniques. When you suffer from stress and anxiety learning how to calm down is the first step to improve your physical and emotional wellbeing.
What’s great about sophrology is that the exercises are varied so everyone finds a technique that works for them. For instance, people prone to anxiety may not like breathing exercises. Indeed, it’s not easy to focus on your breath when you constantly feel pressure in your chest. But sophrology has positive visualisations and body exercises that can truly help to bring calm and peace.
2- Becoming more aware and present
One of the principles of sophrology is body awareness. In every session we work on reconnecting with the body. Why is this so important in your ability to cope with stress and anxiety? Because becoming aware of how you feel throughout the day allows you to sense when you are tense and therefore put in place the exercises to help you feel better. This heightened awareness can help prevent panic attacks for instance. When people tune in with their body, the can sense and recognise the signs of a panic attack and use sophrology exercises to diffuse it.
3- Stepping back to see things as they are
Stress and anxiety usually arise when we feel out of control or feel we don’t have the resources to cope with a situation. This is often due to the way we perceive things. Long term exposure to stress and anxiety leads to a pattern of self-reinforcing negative thinking.
In sophrology we have some great dynamic exercises to deal with strong emotions but also, with regular practice, we learn to quieten the mind and step back from emotionally challenging situations. We learn to see things for what they really are without a negative filter. This is really important as it is training your brain to adopt a healthier natural response to stressors. It enables you to think calmly and respond fully in the best way possible in any situation.
4- Developing a positive mindset
Another important principle in sophrology is positive action. Not only do we train to reconnect with the body and to see things for what they are but we also train to focus on the positive during a session. It does not mean we ignore the negative. If you feel tensions or have negative thoughts during a session you should acknowledge what is present. However in our sophrology training we try to put the negative into brackets, just for the time of the session, and focus on positive sensations. This principle when applied to a session and practiced on a regular basis starts to transpires into daily life. You start developing a more and more positive mindset which is going to increase your ability to cope with daily challenges.
5- Increasing confidence
As a result of the increased ability to tune in the body, seeing things for what they are and taking positive action those who practice Sophrology often feel more and more confident in their own abilities. They uncover their fantastic inner resources and potential. As a consequence they feel physically and emotionally balanced and overall happier with their lives.
Would you like to discover sophrology?
If you’d like to discover how sophrology can reduce your stress and anxiety, why not join the 5 week ‘Stress and Anxiety’ Sophrology course.
It will run from Monday 9th March to Monday 6th April at the Heart Centre, Headingley, LS6 3HN from 12pm – 1pm.
Learning in a closed group in a relaxed and friendly environment is a great way to be introduced to Sophrology. By the end of the course you’ll understand more about stress and how it affects your body and how to deal bette with emotionally challenging situations. Especially, you’ll have a clear plan of how you can integrate sophrology in your lifestyle and be able to practice exercises by yourself.
Want to try it out first? I’m running a FREE taster session on Monday 2nd March, 12-1pm – also at the Heart Centre.