Fear reflexes ruin our posture and how Alexander Technique helps them. - Technique For Living

Fear reflexes ruin our posture and how Alexander Technique helps them.

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Sitting at a desk typing at your computer screen is a great way to create fear. Using a computer, device or just staring at a screen is a means of building fear up in the body. It creates vast amounts of physical tension that is almost imperceptible. Because the device is hogging your attention.

All pc, phones and tablets are stealing your attention.

Everything becomes linked when you use an electronic device, for better or worse. Social media claims the gaps in your attention span. You don't realise your attention span has ended. Pushing you subconsciously to the next random thing. If you were reading a book you would soon realise if you had missed something because it would not make sense. You always have a reference point you can backtrack from to find your bearings. So this effect is created where you can’t tell the difference and our subconscious brain starts to get the message that it’s accomplishing tasks by checking on notifications, settings and scrolling through news feeds.

I know this sounds pretty harmless by itself, but many of us don’t know how to stop. We become used by our phones and tablets. We constantly search online for the next thing or compare ourselves to others, because they seem relevant. They are to some degree. So attention filling and increased tension overstates their relevance to our subconscious brain. This trains us to react, rather than think then act.

Are you hardwired in?

Devices ruin our attention spans hardwiring us into them, but what else do they take? Time is one. Decision making is another. Consideration narrows, so we feel we have less choices. Because your attention is artificially pushed, your sense of time gets distorted. So even though you feel it's only been 30 mins on your facebook feed it’s more like 50. 

We are also asked to react more and discover who we are. But this ends up being more about showing who we are. It’s quite rare that it gets us to think of our needs. Because there are limited options for the way we interact with it (eg like or dislike) again we are encouraged to react. There is no button for “this doesn’t deserve my attention”! Although you can complain it’s not actively encouraged, because it’s not immediately available. We don’t get to consider the opportunities of not doing anything at all. I’m not saying all devices and the internet is bad. We need it, we couldn’t function without it. But if you want to avoid panic attacks that seem to come out of nowhere you need to stop using your devices so obsessively.

Under supervision

Friends, employers, our internet service providers and the government surveil our online activity. This creates social pressure to conform and to follow. There is an air of permanence if saying the wrong thing online. It stays there for many to react to. It starts to reinforce our decisions and mould our character. Things that might have taken place in a conversation or phone call become broadcast. This can be both good and bad. But the point is that it’s going to create more pressure and demand from your attention. 

Where to not use your phone

We only have so much time and it sucks you in deeper and deeper. If you are using your phone whilst you are walking to work (and I don’t mean just casually checking it) you will more than likely be pulling your head down into your phone and wrecking your posture. There is nothing on your phone that is worthy of this amount of attention. You need to be aware of your surroundings and your body to take in more sensory information. To not lose touch with yourself. If it helps get a timer or just decide to stop using your phone after a certain time of day. Your body will thank you for it and it will go a long way to improving your posture.

You shouldn't keep your phone in your bedroom. It doesn't need to be checked at night or when waking up. There's no need. Stop it. If you check it at night, it will disturb your sleep. Your brain doesn't need that much activity and blue light (which is fine during daylight) when it's dark and you're winding down to sleep. I think that Nicholas Carr has some good ideas about what the internet is doing to our brain. A tip of his that is very practical is to limit the notifications or emails that can come to you down to once an hour. We need that time to be able to have any form of productivity in our lives. If there is anything you think that is useful to know on this subject or something I've missed out please leave a comment down below.

About the Author Edward Fisher

Hi, I'm Edward Fisher and I believe that everyone can have a life free from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and many other musculoskeletal pain related conditions. I recovered from slipped discs and sciatica. I spent 10 months being unable to walk. After 3 months of Alexander Technique I was walking again. Now I show others how to overcome their own pain related conditions for themselves.

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