Heather Stegmaier, M.AmSAT

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Entries in Coping (1)

Friday
Jul262013

Combat Coping with the Alexander Technique

We all find ways to cope with stress throughout the day. What’s your specialty? A few that come to my mind are:

  • Pretend everything is just fine; meanwhile, your blood is boiling and your jaw is clenched.
  • You are the good worker, always at the ready and working hard all day; meanwhile, your back is killing you and it hurts just to be upright.
  • Your coping mechanism has become such a habit that you don’t even know the difference between your real self and “getting through the day.” Meanwhile, you’re exhausted, at your wit’s end, and possibly have some serious health issues knocking at the door (anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic pain, or worse).

So when is it time to say, “Enough!”? When is it time to take control of the situation, rather than the situation having control over you?

I say the time is now. As in, this moment right now. Even for 30 seconds. Now.

But the question immediately becomes, “HOW?”

That’s where the Alexander Technique comes in. The Alexander Technique is a tool for living. Actually, I will rephrase that. The Alexander Technique is your tool for living. What that means is it gives you actual, real life skills to get through the day. Without coping and—eventually—without chronic pain.

The best part is, it’s all within your reach right now. Try this out:

  1. Bring awareness to yourself. Just check in–what’s going on?
  2. You may become aware of all the sensations that are your coping mechanism: tense muscles, clenched jaw, shallow (or non-existent) breathing, chronic pain… If so, recognize and acknowledge these sensations.
  3. Have a conscious thought to NOT REACT to these sensations. Say to yourself, “I am not reacting to these feelings and sensations I am experiencing.”

Now that you’ve spent 30 seconds or so receiving information about yourself, take 30 seconds to output information by giving yourself these directions:

  1. Think about your feet extending to and connecting with the floor.
  2. Think about your head rising up. Imagine the space above your head and the fact that you have all that space to expand into.
  3. You also have space to expand all over. Take a deep breath and just allow yourself to expand in all directions.
  4. Feet down, head up, back lengthening and widening—it’s all there for you.

Notice a difference? How do you feel after one minute of using these techniques to consciously change your experience of living? Share your experience in the comments below.

This is a brief taste of HOW the Alexander Technique can facilitate positive change in your life.

You deserve to live a life pain-free! It’s all there, right within your reach. The Alexander Technique is simply a tool for you to make it happen.

Stay tuned for more tips and techniques using the Alexander Technique! In the meantime, please share your experience on HOW this brief one-minute experiment changed your day in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!