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A simple mood-shifter

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Does your furniture support your structure? Simply asking the question can be potent, as simply becoming aware of shrinking or straining to fit, or numbing out the need for more support to be at ease, gives us more choices and gives us back the agency to self-regulate.

These chair bricks (or simply place a book under the back two legs of your chair) are such an easy little hack to give you a little vitamin ZING — easy upright posture that you’re not “trying” to do or maintain. Great for shifting low mood, when you need to sit for long hours, or if you are too long-legged for the furniture. 🐒🦩🦥

Simply asking ourselves the question, “where am I supported — am I comfortable?”, is the everyday skill of coordination (hello there musicians, dancers, athletes, artisans…) and self-regulation.

Being comfortable isn’t a luxury, it’s a signal from our body’s intelligence — our deeper, innate knowing that when we allow ourselves to make choices that harmonise with our design, we are at our most coordinated, skilful, and ready for the joys and challenges of life. From comfort we make choices that support rather than sabotaging our performance and general well-being. Perhaps counterintuitively, an ongoing interest in our comfort-performance relationship supports stepping outside our comfort zone when we need or choose to, as we are able to do so, as well as shift back, from a less depleted system. Like setting up secure base camp before attempting the summit.

As they say, practice makes perfect, and when we stay in discomfort, filtering out the signals as we “push through” we practice poor coordination, making it harder work to “do the thing”, move forwards or make the changes we wish for ourselves and our planet. Instead we practice putting our nervous systems under pressure, and get used to operating from stress or apathy. In our brains and nervous systems, “what fires together wires together” — meaning when we practice operating from discomfort, we start to think and believe we need to be stressed or in pain to achieve our goals. The source of pervasive and destructive thought errors like “no pain, no gain”.

The beauty of the Alexander Technique is creating a non-judgemental atmosphere in relationship to ourselves and our patterns like these, so that we can intervene. When we do so from a place of love, agency and curiosity rather than judgement or feeling we have “got it wrong again”, we up our strength and freedom to make the meaningful changes. And we come back into alignment with our deeper wishes for ourselves. I think of it as the skill of kindness, or the kindness true skill requires.

How is your level of comfort now? Pause a moment and notice how much you already know about what you need to feel more at ease. How can you choose to prioritise your comfort and coordination? These pauses save you time, short term, and invest in your performance and health medium-long term.

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