Stressed AF But Not Into Meditation? This New Wellness Trend Is For You
Despite its growing popularity in the United States, meditation still isn’t for everyone. For some, it’s the Buddhist roots that throw them off because they don’t want to associate with the religion. For others, it’s the woo-woo sense of being that makes them feel disconnected from the practice. At the end of the day, a surprising number of folks would rather remain stressed and burnt out than lean into the Eastern practice.
And that’s exactly why sophrology, the latest trend in the world of wellness, came to be.
What is sophrology?
The late Alfonso Caycedo, who founded the idea of sophrology around 1960, traveled through China, Tibet and India to learn from yoga, meditation and Buddhism teachings so that he could distill and translate them for the Western world. He also tapped into influences like hypnosis, Japanese zen and Western relaxation methods. The end result? A mental practice that’s much more dynamic than traditional meditation.
Sophrology, or the “study of consciousness in harmony,” uses techniques like breathing, relaxation, body awareness and visualization to help you connect with your inner sense of resilience and improve your overall mental and physical health. But rather than sitting with your thoughts, letting your mind wander and focusing on remaining present, sophrology actively employs one particular truth: we, as individuals, cannot change events that are occurring but we can decide how we are going to experience them. We do have the ability to control how we handle situations in life and feel about the outcomes of those situations. It’s all about taking responsibility for your own life experience (which, if you ask us, sounds really empowering).
What are the benefits of sophrology?
The perks of practicing sophrology are similar to those of yoga, meditation and other concepts the dynamic relaxation method integrates. You’ll likely experience more restful sleep, improved concentration, feeling less worried more often, a boost in self-confidence and a stronger, more sustainable sense of inner happiness. It doesn’t change your life, but it certainly changes how you view it.
How can I start using sophrology in my daily life?
While sophrology has been practiced in countries like France and Switzerland for decades, it’s still just scratching the surface of wellness here in the United States. But that doesn’t mean it’s off limits to you.
If you don’t have access to a trained practitioner for guidance (or simply can’t afford to pay for it), don’t sweat it. Dominique Antiglio, the founder of the BeSophro studio in London and author of The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology, shared two guided sophrology sessions with The Huffington Post UK — one focused on releasing mind and body tension, and the other aimed at calming and focusing the mind. Both offer easy and effective starting points that you can tackle on your own time in the comfort of your home.