The word “sophrology” comes from the Greek. It combines the words “Sos” (harmony), “Phren” (consciousness) and “Logos” (learning, reason). Sophrology is a scientific discipline in the medical field that originated in Spain. But what is sophrology anyway? Its main goal is to train our mental faculties towards positivity.
We have to stretch and use our muscles if we want them to grow, right? In the same way, we must also use our minds to keep them from rusting. Basically, sophrology exists to help us reach our full potential as much as possible. It deals equally with our mental and physical dispositions.
Sophrology has also been referred to as “the science of human consciousness”. Let’s combine these two ideas: Sophrology is a scientific field that can help you relax in stressful situations .
What exactly do we mean when we talk about stress?
Scientists say that our bodies are constantly under stress. A body without any stress is actually a dead body. So you always want to have at least some stress, even if you are not aware of it. We’re not talking about the type of stress people are talking about when they say, “I’m stressed again!”
Stress is basically a non-specific way the body reacts to whatever we ask of it. It is a physiological and psychological response. There are also gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and endocrine changes that go along with it.
Many people believe that there is nothing – or at least not much – that can be done about stress. And yes, dealing appropriately with the challenges and feelings of everyday life is definitely a challenge – the good news, however, is that it is a challenge that we can train for.
How does sophrology help with stress?
The concept of sophrology was first defined in the 1960s by Alfonso Caycedo. He was a Colombian psychiatrist who worked in Madrid. For the treatments of his patients he combined practices from Buddhism, Yoga and Zen.
He founded the Caycedo method of sophrology as a strategy to reduce stress . It is, however, that you will not grasp it by studying a theory. The truth is that personal experience is necessary. The Caycedo method is not the practical side of sophrology for nothing. It is mainly based on the Far Eastern traditions and practices that we have already mentioned. Alfonso Caycedo adapted corresponding exercises to our modern way of life.
Caycedo’s dynamic relaxation is still the most important method in sophrology to this day. It includes relaxation techniques, physical exercises, and mental strategies. They all have specific goals, such as coping with daily stress.
When you use them, try to look inside yourself. First you start by perceiving your body. Then you move into your mind and finally visit your emotions.
This process of self-awareness helps you gain better control over your body, thoughts, and negative emotions. If you go through it consciously, you will learn to transform your negative habits into positive ones. Over time, you will also adopt a calmer attitude and become more aware of your values and those of those around you.
Caycedo’s dynamic relaxation encompasses twelve levels that form a consistent, structured methodology. The main goal is to gradually develop physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, axiological and social self-awareness. The ultimate goal is to relieve stress. It’s about living a quieter everyday life, promoting positive habits and developing existential values.
Coping with individual levels generally takes between 10 and 15 minutes. You use this time to work on your past, present and future. At every level, emphasis is placed on positive experiences.
Just think once about how a negative emotional experience can affect your mind-body balance. In the same way, a positive emotional experience will affect everything for the better. The goal of sophrology is to help you focus on the positive side of your world.
It also teaches you to identify the positive side of yourself and to become aware of all of those little, pleasant moments that you experience every day.