It’s coming to that time of year again when everything starts to go green… no not Springtime… but St. Patrick’s Day!! Yes and although I am Irish and I like to participate in many a merry moment with friends and family I like to just observe those who get with the Irish spirit on the day itself!..
Have you ever been at work feeling completely lost at what you are supposed to be doing? …Feelings overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious and angry. Trying not to get emotional or tense while tears begin to well up… and then you start thinking “I can’t do this”, “why am I doing this?”… wanting to walk away…
2016 has been a very interesting year for America. Living in Arizona since 2012, I feel overall Americans don’t really exercise their right to freedom of speech. I do know many who definitely don’t hold back! I hope not to offend any Americans by writing this, as I am generalizing, but, I know in their hearts, they just don’t want to offend anyone. By suppressing their real thoughts and feelings however, they hold themselves back from being truly free. I am speaking as an Irish person who knows how Europeans express themselves freely without fear of doing so.
The 2016 Presidential elections gave the American public the chance to speak freely. It helped release a lot of frustrations and anger. Anger needs to be released and more importantly managed without causing harm to anyone. I have always wanted to know people’s personal politics. It has always fascinated me. I like to see all sides to the coin. I am from Ireland where we all love a good heated discussion, from the family home to the pub! There needs to be an outlet where we can all express ourselves without fear or violence or else we will feel oppression. Is this suppressed anger why America has so many violent cases of gunfire?
The election is over and the results are in. Now is the time to manage our frustrations, anger and disappointments – as life continues. So how to do this: go to the gym and exercise?; - go to the pub? - have fun with friends! - practice yoga, mindfulness, meditation or all three together using sophrology?
Sophrology helps people cope with anxiety, anger, fear and stress. It helps you to focus on the positives in life and walk away from the negatives. With practice it becomes part of your sub consciousness. We all need to work on ourselves to have inner peace.
Everyone wins. Inner peace in one person spreads and affects everyone. So does the opposite. Which do you prefer to spread?
A year ago I decided to change my outlook on food and generally on eating. I also had enough of being overweight. It all began when I decided to eat only vegan meals for over 21 days. You know the diet Beyoncé did. It turns out it was a great way to kick-start a new healthy way of eating and finally lose the weight I had put on over the years but it wasn't actually from following this diet... Some of the vegan meals were delicious and easy enough to prepare. The not-so-nice bits were the after-effects of certain foods… I became aware of what I was able to digest.
So, I decided to apply sophrology awareness to all food & beverages I was consuming. In the last year I lost 40 pounds... I have not joined any gym. I am not a sporty person and would never go out and walk in this Arizona heat!
So how did I do it? Mindful eating. Want to know the best part? I am enjoying food much more than I have in the last 10 years! I can eat everything!
My only regret is that I never kept my clothes from my slimmer days.
If I can do this, believe me you will too. Instead of wanting to want it – I actually did it. I listened to my own body. For the first time I didn’t follow any fad diet.
Would you like to learn how to use sophrology to lose weight? Click on my contact page to schedule an appointment.
Paris Keep Breathing
I am watching in shock the atrocities that took place in Paris last evening. It takes courage to be able to step out your front door and live your life without fear, after experiencing such an attack. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a form of extreme stress that prevents people from being able to live their life in a normal manner. War veterans have experienced it in the worst manner after returning from duty. Unfortunately we live in a world today where people are now suffering PTSD due to events such as these at the extremity, as well as from every day living situations. When 9/11 happened, groups were set up to help New Yorkers. They were taught simple breathing techniques to allow themselves to release fear and help their bodies recover from shock. The first part of us that shuts down when we are afraid is allowing our body to receive oxygen.
The first thing you can do for yourself is to concentrating on your breathing and to ground yourself. Try this right now:
Start by doing a body inventory to see where you are holding tension the most:
- Check, head, face, jaw, mouth forehead
- Check chest, back, stomach, hips, legs, feet, arms, and hands.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose and slowly out through mouth (as if blowing through a straw).
- Repeat a few times just to re-center your body and release any tensions you might be holding in your body.
- Notice any parts of your body that hold tension and when you breathe in focus on these parts to breathe in oxygen to these parts of your body.
- Finally Breathe in, Hold your breath for a few seconds
- While holding your breath, stretch your body: including arms & legs (as if you are waking up from a sleep)… and then breathe out, allowing your arms and legs and body to relax, releasing tension.
- Repeat two more times.
Take your time to slowly wake up your body opening your eyes and take a short moment before you stand up. It is important to wake up slowly so you avoid falling over. Deep breathing exercises can cause dizziness, so please be careful to slowly wake up and not jump up afterwards.
This exercise helps you take focus away from your mind, and focus on your body. There are more sophrology exercises that can help but this exercise can be done anywhere (as long as you are not operating equipment or driving a vehicle). Please share this article with your friends and family. We all need to help each other in times of stress and shock.
Keep Breathing Paris. We Love you and send our love to you. Paris, on vous aime, soyez forte.
Do you know the difference between intention and intentionality?
Your intention is your conscious mind and your intentionality is your subconscious mind. It is reported that we only use 5% of our conscious mind! Wouldn’t you like to increase the percentage of what is conscious? We can by being more mindful and practicing mindfulness which we use in Sophrology.
Let me give you an example. You decide you want to purchase a car – a Toyota FJ Cruiser. You start to read up about the car and get more information about it on the internet. Then what happens.. you start seeing the car everywhere. You notice the commercials and pay more attention to them. You notice people are talking about this car… so what happened!? Why does it appear that this car is everywhere, when previously you didn't even notice the car?
What is happening is that your intentionality is at work, a.k.a your subconscious mind. It is bringing forward to your conscious mind what you intentionally set out to learn more about. Everything you are now noticing was always there. You just weren’t aware of it. Our conscious mind notices 5% of what is happening around us. Our subconscious mind, like our intentionality, notices everything around us.
By living a more mindful, conscious life we open our awareness to noticing more of what is going on right in front of us. We increase awareness of many things: our actions; our thoughts; and our emotions. At the same time we increase our senses. Our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and also our intuition is increased! So why not start being more mindful and notice everything happening right now! Now that is definitely a great reason to start practicing Sophrology!
What is the force within that makes us who we are?...We need to first look at the Body, Mind and Spirit...
The Body is the physical part of a person. It is composed of many different cells that form the skin, bones, organs, nervous system, endocrine system etc., from the hair on your head to the nails on your toes.
The Mind is the faculty that enables consciousness, cognitive decision, perception, judgment and memory. It creates thought and awareness of ones self, and the world around us to experience life. It is housed within the brain, which is the muscle that drives it. The mind is very powerful in that it can change the nature of how we make decisions.
The Spirit is the force within a person that makes them who they are. It is their character. It is their emotions. It is their being, their true self.
What is the difference between the Mind and the Spirit?
The mind is what you perceive yourself to be.
The Spirit is what you truly are.
By practicing Sophrology you become aware of who you perceive yourself to be. You increase the conscious link between the mind and the body. By knowing who you truly are, you reduce the gap between perception and reality.
Exam season has arrived. You have put in all the hard work. You have done your best. Then what happens on the day of the exam? You begin to feel a little tense, your heart beats a little faster and your breathing becomes a little shorter. You see your school friends beside you writing away furiously while you have found yourself staring at the paper in front of you...
What has just happened? Your mind has gone blank and all knowledge you previously possessed has flown out the window. You cannot organize your thoughts and panic sets in. Has any of this ever happened to you? Do you have the tools to combat this when it does?
Whether you are studying for an exam; preparing for a job interview; doing a presentation; auditioning for a role; asking your boss for a raise; asking your bank manager for a loan, etc., etc., you will be under a certain amount of stress... Your chance of succeeding depends on how you manage your stress on the day.
Sophrology uses simple breathing techniques and mindfulness that will help alleviate any panic situation, such as exam stress.
By training ourselves consciously to act rather than react in times of challenge. We create new habits that subconsciously aid us to make a better decision and not a rash one.
So next time you are sitting in the exam hall, wouldn’t you prefer to have all the tools to succeed?
The joy of screaming is something we do as kids. Think about it, if we adults were to scream as carefree, the neighbors would have thought something was going on! Maybe that is why roller coasters were created? Do you remember the last time you screamed for joy, like the kids running through the icy sprinklers? It could be that time you did jump in an icy pool, or that time screaming at the top of your voice at the movies, or even a ride on a motorbike. Whatever the memory, remember the happy sensations you experienced. Now expand upon them. Those sensations are still within you and you can tap into them any time you wish to. When we expand upon joyful memories, by just remembering them, we integrate positivity.
This is conscious harmony, which is the essence of Sophrology.
I have been doing sophrology for some time now with two of my favorite girls, who I have decided to call The Sophro Girls. They will be checking in now and then to give some feedback. Let's refer to them as Big Sis and Little Sis. I think that I will just let the video do the talking in this one! Check out their interesting analogies!