Posture can affect one’s emotional state, physical health, and self-esteem. The brain does not distinguish between mental, emotional, and physical stress. It’s all just “you” and you live in the middle of your thoughts, feelings, physical habits, and responses to stress.
How you hold your body is a reflection of how you feel, what you think, and what has happened to you in life. And there’s no judgment – ever. There’s just noticing.
To begin to make substantive changes and improvements in how we move and feel in our bodies a good first step is to begin to observe your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
To be “somatic” is to sense yourself from the inside out. We do this when we move slowly and intentionally and when we choose to rest, stop moving, and sense our breath, we also learn to think, act, and move differently.
Some notice how uncomfortable or agitated they may feel when we stop “doing.” Others notice how they tighten their bellies and clench their jaws when reading the day’s news. It’s all learning and over time it changes the way we look, stand, sit, move, and respond to life.
Try this: 1. When you wake up in the morning, notice your thoughts. What’s the first thing you think about – and how does that feel in your body? Does it create tension or a sense of ease? You may have a lot to do, like it or not, but what do you choose to focus on? 2. Take a minute to slowly reach your limbs out, wiggle your hips, and flex your toes and feet. Yawn. And let go completely. 3. Notice your thoughts and physical sensations. Is anything different?
During the day consciously notice your stress level. What are you doing or thinking about when you’re feeling tense? Make the same observation when you feel relaxed! What if you took a break, gave yourself two minutes to “reach to the top shelf,” do a seated arch and curl or standing “flower,” and mentally and physically reset yourself? How does that shift your mental state?
Do you have a question about changing your posture? Join our FREE webinar with faculty member Laura Gates on November 15th to get it answered. Register here!