The Life Changing Power of Sophrology

The Life Changing Power of Sophrology

Sophrology is the “dynamic cousin” of meditation

Sophrology was founded by Columbian doctor and neuro-psychiatrist Professor Alfonso Caycedo in the 1960s. It is a type of dynamic meditation (great for those who find traditional meditation and sitting still difficult) that is designed to help you learn to focus on the present and be in the “now”. It is different than other meditative practices because it engages both the mind and body, and allows you to enter into a state of full relaxation more quickly and easily.

It involves a combination of proven breathwork techniques, relaxation, gentle body movements, meditation and visualisation techniques designed to bring you into the “alpha brain wave” or ‘flow’ 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 resilient over time.

 Sophrology has been wildly popular in Europe for decades

Despite being somewhat new to the UK, Sophrology has actually been widely practised in France, Belgium and Switzerland for decades by Olympic athletes, professional tennis players, golfers and rugby teams, to help relieve stress and anxiety, boost mental and physical performance, sharpen clarity and focus, and improve sleep. Arianna Huffington was also revealed to be a fan after professing her love for it on Twitter in 2017.

Sophrology can help with everything from reducing stress and anxiety, and improving sleep to enhancing mental and physical performance

Sophrology is really beneficial as a support tool to help those who are constantly on-the-go and prone to taking on the stresses and pressures that surround their busy lives.

Life and work can be overwhelming and tiring, so the deep relaxation element of Sophrology will help the body and mind to de-stress and recuperate, which is really important in preventing burnout. With regular practice, Sophrology helps you to become more mindful of your needs, your limits, your strengths and capabilities, so you can create more happiness in your life.

But there are so many holistic benefits to practicing Sophrology in general. It helps you learn how to overcome stress and decrease anxiety, rebalance your energy levels, dramatically improve your sleep, prevent work burnout and physical/mental exhaustion and increase your confidence and self-esteem to allow you to achieve your goals.

The practice is different in that it can also change your perception of future events and reduce anticipatory anxiety

One of the principles in Sophrology states that we can decide how we are going to experience certain events even when we can't change them. We are therefore responsible for our experience and how we respond to situations. This is the key differentiator compared to mindfulness or meditation, and why it is so appealing to so many people.

It is a great tool to you prepare for events i.e. presentations and interviews, where you are nervous or lack confidence. This re-conditioning of the mindset is why it is so popular with competitive athletes.

You only need 10 minutes a day to reap the benefits

Practice takes just 10 minutes (try to practice daily for maximum effect) and you can practice any time you have some downtime. Personally, if I feel tense, just practising for five minutes is enough to relax me instantly. You’ll be surprised at the opportunities you’ll have during day – Sophrology can fit into your daily routine so there’s less effort involved, for example, I practise in between work meetings, and even on the Tube and in taxis!

Sophrology can be practiced alone, via guided recordings and videos, or in person with a Sophrologist

The first steps to practising Sophrology are to understand whether you have a specific issue you’d like to address, in which case, a one-on-one session with a Sophrologist would be ideal. If you are interested in generally improving your mental health and wellbeing, a group session would work really well. Alternatively, practising alone and incorporating just 10 minutes daily will uncover profound changes. For beginners, a guided practice is the best place to start – I have a book called The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology that is designed for those looking to discover the practice! The book has an audio series so is an accessible way to learn about Sophrology as you will be guided through the practice every step of the way to get you familiar with the techniques. Or you can try out the online Relax, Reset & Overcome Stress Sophrology course via

This Sophrology technique called The Bag is great for managing anxiety and negative feelings. It will help to clear the associated weight and tension effectively and reinstate your sense of control.

  • With your eyes closed, stand about a metre-and-a-half in front of a wall and imagine there is a target on that wall, and on that target is a bag.
  • Think about the negative feelings, one by one, that have surfaced and picture taking a hold of them and placing each one into the bag.
  • You can put any feeling, situation or conversation into this bag – but not actual people.
  • Hold out your hand as you picture holding the bag, using your other hand to ‘physically’ place it into the bag – name each one that goes in. When done, ‘close’ the bag.
  • Now, assume a position of strength and picture symbolically crushing the bag until the pieces fall to the ground. You might picture crushing the remaining pieces with your feet until everything has disintegrated, like all those negative associations you previously carried around.