The benefits of sophrology

Sophrology was founded by Columbian doctor and neuropsychiatrist 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 focus on the present and be in the ‘now’. It is different from other meditative practices because it engages both the mind and body, which allows you to enter into a state of full relaxation more quickly and easily.

Image of a Girl Looking Out into the Sunset

What is sophrology?

Sophrology involves a combination of proven breathwork techniques, relaxation, light body movement, 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.

Who would benefit from sophrology?

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. Practised daily, it can be an incredibly helpful method to support our mental health, especially during times of high stress and fear like many people are experiencing currently.

The routine of 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 for example. 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.

What are the other benefits?

There are so many holistic benefits to practising 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.

Sophrology has actually been widely practised in France, Belgium and Switzerland for decades by everyone from school children to Olympic athletes to help sharpen focus and boost mental and physical performance. The practice is so effective that it is even used in sleep clinics and hospitals in Switzerland to aid sleep problems like insomnia.

Can sophrology help manage anticipatory anxiety?

Yes – 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 to mindfulness or meditation, and why it is so appealing to so many people – it is a great tool to help you with preparing 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.

How long does it take?

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 the day – sophrology can fit into your daily routine so there’s less effort involved.

So, how do you practice sophrology?

Ready to give sophrology a try? The ‘Life-Changing Power of Sophrology’ is a great introductory book, designed for those looking to discover the practice.

This article was updated on 27/06/23

Share this article with a friend
Written by Dominique Antiglio
Dominique Antiglio is a Sophrologist at BeSophro clinic (clinics in Mayfair, Chelsea and Kensington) and author of best-selling book 'The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology'. Learn more about Dominque at, and follow @besophrolondon on Instagram.
Written by Dominique Antiglio
Show comments

Find the holistic therapist for you


All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals