Ahead of the book’s release, we asked Dominique some questions about sophrology and why we ought to be paying it some attention if we’re looking for a great tool for stress-management and positivity in our lives.
What is sophrology? We’re curious….
Sophrology is a body-mind practice for self-development and building resilience. You are guided through simple exercises involving breathing, relaxation, body awareness and visualisation so you can connect within to find inner resources such as calm, focus, confidence, positivity and joy. It is a tool you can use to positively deal with the challenges of life.
A lot of people come to it because they feel stressed, find it hard to focus, struggle with sleep or feel anxious. They quickly discover that not only does it help to transform their inner state in the moment but it supports them in preparing for important events like exams, competitions, presentations or medical procedures so they can feel more in control or perform to their best ability.
Beyond stress management, Sophrology is a tool that can help us to develop greater awareness and positivity towards ourselves and the world around us. We have practices where we explore our life values or how we can use past experiences to strengthen our present state or simply learn to feel happy and content in the present moment. I feel that this is a much needed tool nowadays where we can easily get lost in the stress and pressure of daily life.
Why do you think sophrology is currently more popular on the continent in Europe than in the UK?
This is precisely one of the questions that motivated me to come to the UK and start my practice here. How can a method that is so popular in continental Europe, which is used in schools, maternity units, sleep centres and corporate environment, not have crossed the Channel?
I was introduced to a Sophrologist at 15 years old by my GP. We have so many books about it in France and Switzerland, Sophrology is the way we work with consciousness on the Continent. I think there is a time for everything – up until now, many Sophrologists lived overseas, and there simply weren’t many Sophrologists available who could translate the work into English.
How is sophrology being used in the workplace to enhance employees’ wellbeing?
Sophrology is usually taught in groups in the workplace. The common requests I have from the corporate world are around improving sleep, managing stress and increasing productivity. I really think that self-awareness and having a life skill is supporting productivity.
It is about making sure people are feeling well and motivated so they are inspired in their work and can give the best of themselves. It is also about giving them tools to deal with what is happening at home, when there are additional challenges such as an illness or there are young children to look after.
Knowing who you are, being aware of your strengths and your limits, and understanding how to positively deal with adverse situations are essential to create a lasting sense of wellbeing. It all starts from within and with the right tools, this can radiate out.
Introducing a short, 10-minute Sophrology practice at some point in your day will help you reach that level of serenity. Once you know the basics, you can extract small on-the-go techniques with the breath, through body awareness or using your focus to positively deal with tensions as they appear.
Your book The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology is due out later this month. Who is the book for and what can we expect to find in it?
It is very exciting to see the first widely published book on Sophrology in English! The book is for everyone as it presents the method and guides you through the practice of Sophrology in a very simple way through short practices that you can download and listen to.
I am also sharing my own life-changing experience with Sophrology and how it has positively contributed to the wellbeing of the clients I see in my practice in Mayfair, London.
What’s your favourite little tip you could share with us from the book to help our community discover their strength and power?
I would say: close your eyes and tune into your breath and how your body feels. Now think about the place you like most in the world and notice how your body feels or how your breath may be affected. Then, for just a few seconds, change that image to something you fear or something you dislike. Notice your breath and body sensations.
Go back to the positive image to finish on a high and notice that. Now, did you feel a difference between your sensations when picturing something negative or positive? Most of us do, and with something as simple as this we can understand the power of the connection between body and mind. Sophrology uses this connection positively to strengthen our body and mind.
For those who don’t feel anything – please do not worry, Sophrology has many other ways to help you connect where you can so you can access your inner strength.