Concentration, memory: why and how can sophrology help? : Current Woman Le MAG

Difficulty concentrating, retaining information, memory and concentration problems can affect you at any age. There are several possible explanations for this, such as fatigue, stress, depression or even aging. However, according to the French Federation of Sophrology, sophrology, by allowing access to a modified state of consciousness, soothes stress and boosts memory and concentration.

1. Sophrology, what is it?

Sophrology, which literally means “study of the harmonization of consciousness”, refers to a therapeutic technique developed by the Spanish neuropsychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo. It is based on the combination of three techniques which will impact the body and the mind: deep breathing, positive visualization and relaxation, informs the sophrology union chamber. These techniques, which place the person in a modified state of consciousness, promote well-being, better self-knowledge, better stress management and the mobilization of all one’s resources.

2. The negative impact of excess stress on memory and concentration

Scientific studies show that too much stress harms concentration and memorization. According to the Center for the Study of Human Stress, the memorization process occurs in 3 stages. First of all, the encoding of information which is then transformed to become a memory. Then consolidation which allows the information to be recorded in long-term memory. And finally, recollection, which refers to the ability to retrieve memorized information in order to use it. However, in the event of stress, the body will secrete stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol). These stress hormones will attach to receptors, particularly in the brain. In the brain, there are 3 memory formation areas: the hippocampus, the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. However, it is these 3 memory-forming brain areas that are richest in stress hormone receptors. A peak in stress hormones will therefore cause negative interference with the ability to memorize.

3. The benefits of sophrology on concentration and memory

For information to be memorized by the brain, it requires attention and concentration. Sophrology allows, through the practice of breathing, visualization and relaxation exercises, to increase your ability to manage your stress and to approach events calmly. However, as high stress disrupts the encoding, consolidation and recall of information, reducing stress through sophrology allows you to improve your concentration and memory. In addition, relaxation exercises stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and allow you to return to restful sleep, which is also a favorable factor for concentration and memory.


  • What is sophrology, Chambre syndicale de la sophrologie, November 27, 2017
  • Memory struggling with emotions and stress: a necessarily damaging impact?, Douglas Hospital Research Center, article available on Médecine/Sciences, January 2003
  • Stress hormones and memory, Center for Human Stress Studies, 2019

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