Getting in Your Own Way...

Updated: May 31, 2021

If you've ever used your hands to push down on your thighs, in order to stand up, you may well believe it helps. It might feel like it helps. Let's think about this. Pushing on the arms or the seat of the chair, now, that might actually help; especially if you have knee trouble - your arms are bearing some of the weight. But how can pushing your legs back down onto the chair help you move up off the chair?

Similarly, if you tilt your chin up as you get up, contracting neck muscles to roll your head backward, you're actually pulling yourself back and down. So, standing up will take more effort.

These are examples of doing things that you assume are helping, but might actually not be. In fact, you might be getting in your own way. There are countless examples of this kind of thing, physical and mental.

You can believe things that turn out not to be true... You might not know any better, or have no evidence to the contrary; but sometimes you might just stick with the old belief because you like it better. Sometimes, people convince themselves they’re right, when deep down they 'know' they’re not, and this creates internal conflict. Conflict means resistance and resistance means tension. If you metaphorically 'push down' on uncomfortable truths, more effort will be needed to maintain them.

Other examples of internal conflict and resistance include: feeling guilty for things that aren’t your fault; suppressing anxiety, anger or sadness because you don’t know how to handle them safely and effectively; wearing a brave face, indefinitely; putting up with an unhappy situation by ‘convincing’ yourself everything’s fine…

The list is endless.

Your brain is an extremely faithful servant, and just as it’s possible to develop problematic physical patterns by using excessive tension or the wrong muscles for the job, it’s possible - unwittingly - to develop thinking patterns that get in the way.

Conversely, just as it’s possible to develop good regular practices like eating well, brushing teeth and keeping active, it’s possible - consciously - to develop more helpful patterns of thinking that build self-trust and self-esteem.

Reasoning skills of the Alexander Technique apply just as much to the emotional sphere as they do to movement and physical activity. The way you think affects everything, and some ways of thinking are healthier than others.

Oh, and would you like to know how to stand up as easily as possible? Get in touch if you’d like some help.