Stress Busting Tips for Fall / by Ariel Carson

And we're off! The September hustle is here, and with that transition out of summer’s leisurely pace I sometimes feel a little anxious and overwhelmed by all there is to get done. So how do I maintain some semblance of poise while charging ahead at full steam with a dream and an infinite To-Do List in hand? 

 

Go Slow to Go Fast

Virtuoso musicians, pro athletes, and master chefs alike know that precision and grace in speed comes from slowly and steadily establishing a reliable framework. In the Alexander Technique instead of practicing music scales, agility drills, or chopping skills, we practice constructive rest also known as semi-supine or lying down work.  The specific pattern of release and expansion cultivated in constructive rest lays a more efficient foundation for all our other activities.

Practicing this regularly over time, and slowly applying the principles learned to our daily activities can lower our baseline of tension in everything we do. So when there's a need for speed, we return to what previously discombobulated us with more calm, coherent, ease.  

Stop Frequently

Every time you stop to release extra tension and redirect into expansion counts as money in your “Bank of Poise”, even if it's just for 3 seconds. Giving yourself 10-20 minutes a day to practice constructive rest is even better, but start with what feels manageable to you. Every bit counts, because every time we stop, we create space between a stimulus and our response. In that space, habits are broken and new more efficient choices can be made.  

Keep a Grand Perspective

When things get rushed our field of awareness often shrinks to whatever is directly in front of us, i.e. tunnel vision on a foggy night. Instead practice opening your field of vision. Let your eyes take in more of the space around you. 

 Stay Grounded

Stress and anxiety often manifest as tension higher up in our neck, shoulders, and chest. When you find yourself getting worked up, come back to the ground. Open your feet, ankles, knees, and hips to receive the support of the ground. Let that support travel up through your torso, neck, and out the crown of your head.

Stay Process Oriented

"If I can just make it through until the end of this project everything will be okay." Sound familiar?

Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to achieve an end result we don’t pay attention to HOW we get there. This anticipation manifests as tension, and causes us to compromise our well being in the process of achieving our goals, leading to stress, anxiety, overwhelm, burnout, and disease. Alexander Technique promotes sustainability for your mind-body-self by teaching you efficiency in action. 

Staying process oriented does not mean you can’t have goals, it just means that you’ll stay present, and won't get burned out as you go after them. Your final product will be better as a result! 

Email me at info@redefiningposture.com or call (917) 387-4931 to schedule an initial consultation lesson if you're based in New York. 

Otherwise, to find an Alexander Technique teacher near you visit: www.amsatonline.org or stat.org.uk