Sophrology is the mindfulness therapy getting me through lockdown – Health News Today

It was Friday on week two of lockdown, yawning after yet another sleepless night, that I hit my first quarantine wall. Panicky tears threatened to form while I typed at my desk (read: kitchen table in a crowded flat share) as I wondered when I’d finally settle into the cheery, productive working-from-home routine all my peers seemed to be enjoying on Instagram.

A friend has taken up painting! Everyone I know is running a 5k! So why was I struggling to adjust so much, especially when I still had so much to be thankful for in the current circumstances? My flatmates spent the weekend on rowdy House Party calls that I seemed to lack the energy for, while I stayed in bed binging Tiger King and ignoring WhatsApps. I was exercising and eating well, but consistent sleep evaded me and I had rising levels of claustrophobia and anxiety over the perceived loss of ‘control’ in my life during lockdown. Finally, on the Sunday evening, a lightbulb went off in my brain, and I remembered sophrology.

A while back, I went for a one-on-one session with sophrologist and author Dominique Antiglio at her BeSophro clinic in London, and she introduced me to a wellness practice that I had never heard of before (quite impressive, given that I’m a millennial who is constantly bombarded with wellness mania on IG). She showed me sophrology, a form of “dynamic meditation” that uses a combination of breathing techniques, movement, visualisation and grounding.

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If you’re thinking that sounds like a load of Goop-y Gwyneth Paltrow speak, bear with me – it’s basically meditation for people who hate meditation. And I would absolutely put myself in that category – sitting still in the silence fills me with a buzzing, anxious energy that makes me want to jump out of my skin.

But Dominique explains why it’s so important to make time for these moments of calm in our day – especially at the moment: “One of the best techniques to overcome coronavirus-related stress is to make the effort to stay in the present moment, the reason being that a lot of this stress focuses on the unknown and uncertainty. Once the mind latches onto these fears, thoughts can escalate very quickly, causing unnecessary stress.”

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So what is dynamic meditation, anyhow? It combines what you would traditionally think of meditation (sitting still, breathing deeply), with gentle movements and visualisation techniques, so that you’re not sitting with your legs crossed the entire time. For example, you might place your fingertips on certain parts of your body (like your throat) while you hold deep breaths and focus on relaxing that part of your body. Or you might use…