Tackling Procrastination – with Sophrology

Knowing something is good for us doesn’t necessarily make it easy to do – particularly after holidays such as Christmas, when getting back into a routine can seem such a tall order.

As our eyes skim past the running shoes in the hallway, or the pile of clothes waiting to be washed, we look hopefully out of the window: ‘Looks like rain’, we say to ourselves – the perfect reason to leave the shoes and washing basket exactly where they are!

So why do we procrastinate? And how can Sophrology help us to overcome this enemy of routine and develop new healthy habits?

Procrastination results from our inner resistance towards an activity that we know has to be done. However, we can often be blissfully unaware of this resistance, and what might be behind it.

‘Good enough’: the Perils of Perfectionism

For example, it may be the relentless inner critic within you, playing havoc with your good intentions. Perfectionism often stems from inherited personal values instilled in your younger years and can affect many aspects of life, from work to family dynamics and social circles. By understanding the source of your perfectionist tendencies, you can start to loosen their grip and embrace the concept of ‘good enough’ to get things moving.

‘The right moment’: overcoming uncertainty

Perhaps you often find yourself trapped in an endless loop of second-guessing, waiting for the “right moment” that never arrives. Problems with self-belief can create a vicious cycle of procrastination and disappointment in our actions (or lack thereof), further reinforcing negative beliefs about ourselves. Again, this can be something we can work on …and Sophrology is the ideal tool to strengthen your resolve and build your inner confidence.

Using Sophrology as a Route to Reviving your Routine

Whatever the reasons behind your resistance, the Sophrology method can help, using a combination of gentle mindfulness practices, visualisation techniques and dynamic exercises.  By listening to your body and intuition, you can learn to make decisions from a place of inner confidence.  And, rather than “waiting for the perfect moment” Sophrology encourages you to take imperfect action now.

Pushing through Procrastination

Audrey Zanesse, a Sophrology teacher and Director of Education at the Academy, shares a recent everyday example of procrastination and how she uses Sophrology to ease herself into the activity she’s avoiding.

“For a couple of weeks, the thought of doing a particular Sophrology exercise, using a recording I have, kept popping into my mind. I had become pretty good at ignoring that message. The thought of the recording came back repeatedly, but I would not listen to it.

So I decided to do it during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Surely I would have the time then…?

But guess what! Saturday came and went and I didn’t find the time. Sunday went by and I still didn’t find the time. Monday morning arrived; I prepared the space where I practice, got my computer out …and then realised that I had forgotten to put the laundry on…

After that small distraction, I went back, turned on the computer and decided I needed a cup of tea. Then, pouring my tea, I remembered the plants needed watering …and so it went on…

Finally, I became conscious that I was resisting doing that session. But believe me, I had no idea until then. I had been on ‘auto-pilot’, with my mind inventing mundane tasks I ‘had’ to do in its place.

Becoming conscious of my procrastination was the first step to overcoming it.

I chose an exercise called ‘The Puppet’ to counteract this resistance. This is a great technique, where you bounce up and down, or even jump if you wish to. It’s one of the best exercises to heighten sensations throughout the body.

After this technique, I did a tension release exercise to eliminate all my blocks. And so I sat down and listened to the recording I had put off for so long.

It was an emotional session. Maybe some part of me knew it wouldn’t be easy, so I resisted it. But, after the session, I felt lighter and grateful – mainly to myself for doing this for me.

Something shifted deep within me, that day, and I quickly got back on track with my good habits. Even Sophrologists need a little nudge at times!

3 Sophrology Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Whenever you feel your resistance whispering sweet ‘mañanas’ in your ear, try these tips to help you get back on track …

1. Be Mindful of your Procrastination!

If you find yourself doing something other than what you really need to do – try at least to do it mindfully. Being in your sensations with your ‘replacement activity’ can help you to silence the inner chatter, and allow you to find calm and positivity to tackle your procrastination next.

2. Use Sensation to Stimulate your Body and Ground Yourself

Use a dynamic exercise to awaken your body-mind, and regain awareness of your physical sensations. Feeling grounded can help you to be more ‘in the moment’ with greater awareness of what is needed to reach your goals.

(If you’d like to try some dynamic exercises, join one of our free monthly online Sophrology Taster Sessions on the first Tuesday of every month:)

3. Start with a much Smaller Goal

Often it’s the perceived level of discomfort of a task that puts us off. So, if you can, break it down into smaller steps.

For example, let’s say you’ve started a new habit of walking 40 minutes daily. It’s going well until one morning, you’re just not feeling up to it.

A smaller goal – perhaps even a 5-minute walk – may not seem too much of an imposition and might get you outside. Then, once you’re out walking, you remember how good it feels, with the breeze in your face, the scent of leaves, or perhaps, birdsong. You begin to feel energised, and even pleased about your good choices.

Take a moment to sense this powerful, positive feeling in your body and to really savour it, perhaps even amplifying whatever good it is bringing you.

Building up this store of positivity inside can fuel the motivation to go out again the next day, and perhaps – this time – for a little longer.

Finding a way back to our healthy routines

Progress, like life itself, is rarely linear. There will be bumps, detours, and moments of “oh-so-human” imperfection. However, the experience of a derailed routine, or a wavering resolve is not a failure, but an invitation to awaken.

The techniques used in the Sophrology method enable you to acknowledge the resistance, move your body, listen to your intuition, build up positive energy,  and choose the path that resonates from within. And in that mindful choice lies the opportunity to regain your rhythm and work mindfully towards new goals …and healthy habits.

Embark on your Journey of Transformation – Train at the Sophrology Academy

If you’re looking to explore the benefits of Sophrology in more depth, the Sophrology Academy offers a diverse range of courses, led by experienced practitioners, who provide you with the tools and techniques to tap into the transformative power of this proven wellbeing method.

Whether you are considering training as a professional Sophrologist – or are interested in using the techniques on an informal basis to help others, visit our website to find out more about our courses – and don’t forget to sign up to our monthly Newsletter! (You’ll find the signup button at the top right of our website page!)