Dominique Antiglio is a wellness and sophrology expert and author of The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology. Here, she shares with us her sophrology journey and imparts her expertise in managing stress and cultivating energy, positivity and confidence.

Sophrology is a dynamic meditative practice that encourages movement of the body, but with a relaxed state of mind. Your awareness level is lowered to a state where you’re in between sleep and full consciousness so that your muscles are fully relaxed. This state enhances bodily awareness, promotes feeling more grounded, boosts your energy and increases your confidence.

I got into sophrology when I was 15 years old after a bout of exhaustion and an infection led me to the doctors. They never found anything medically ‘wrong’ with me and I tried many different medications for my blood pressure to no avail. My parents and I were willing to try anything so I met with a sophrologist, which was a very popular concept in my native Switzerland –  used across schools, hospitals and by Olympic athletes.

After just five weeks, it had completely transformed my life: my energy levels were back, my infection had cleared and my mood had lifted. I felt strongly empowered that I now understood my body and the tensions that had accumulated; I realised I could be in control of all the things in my life that were bothering me.

Sophrology can be especially useful for those suffering from burnout, like in my case. A lot of people throw the word around if they’re feeling tired or have a headache, but burnout is a clinical syndrome where those suffering are truly exhausted and can no longer function. It is at the extreme end of the spectrum of stress – but it does not come without warning signs. Burnout might start with feelings of fatigue and noticing issues with sleep, like you’re really forgetful and can’t focus, or you may even lose interest in socialising or spending time with loved ones. It's really important that you recognise the symptoms and you take time to acknowledge how you’ve reached this point.

Overcoming burnout involves accepting that you can’t do everything. At some point you have to set healthy boundaries – either in your job or in your private life – and to allow for rest and free movement. Sophrology can support these life changes as it helps you gain clarity about how you feel, and to help you think about what you are aiming for and what positive changes you can make in order to achieve this. It teaches you to be present through awareness of the body via relaxed body scans, gentle breathing exercises and visualisation.

The aim of sophrology is to tap into the resource of consciousness to better your life. It’s a simple journey to maintaining a positive mindset. Over time, if sophrology is practised regularly it can help you connect better with your inner resources and clear all the negativity and tension you have; building up those new resources of energy, confidence, focus and positivity.

In my next column, I delve into how to quell stress with breathing techniques, the importance of taking a ten-minute recuperation practice daily and activation exercises.

To ease you into your wellness journey, embrace these meditative accessories:

Relax, Reset & Overcome Stress - a new online course designed to manage stress and achieve calm is available at from July. Sign up via the website.

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