There are so many things that, in the busyness of life, we tend to take for granted. The ability to breathe, for one, and the beating of our hearts are two critical functions that need to happen each day to keep us alive. But unless you’re in the middle of a workout, when was the last time you paid attention to your heartbeat or your breath?
As the day goes on, one important daily habit can also have a negative effect on our overall health and wellness. Right now, at this very moment, without moving from your current position, I’d like you to perform a mindful scan of your body. Are your shoulders filled with tension, held high and tight? Are they rounded forward so that you can position yourself in front of your computer better? Is your spine slouched in exhaustion after a long afternoon or day?
You may not realize it, but your posture can have a profound effect on the mind and body.
Chronic bad posture and slouching the shoulders can lead to muscle tension, which ultimately will cause sore, painful muscles. Those with poor posture often experience more headaches, neck aches and backaches. But the simple act of becoming more aware of your posture can free you from the tension that can lead to problems such as this. Keep your head up and your back straight.
Slouching doesn’t just affect the back of your body. It can also cause problems with your front side, as well. When the body is slouched, the natural breathing pattern becomes disrupted and with the chest constricted and breathing off kilter, even the heart may suffer the consequences. This can lead to unintended hyperventilation, which can result in a whole slew of symptoms one wouldn’t necessarily connect with something as simple as posture. So, sit up straight, breathe freely and be well!
Think about the last time you had a really great day. Maybe you completed your to-do list with time to spare, nailed a presentation or took care of a situation that has been causing you stress. What’s the one thing you probably took with you that day? Your confidence! When we are confident, we stand taller, and when we stand taller, we have more confidence. It’s a win-win situation. That means we believe in ourselves, we tackle intimidating projects and we succeed.