Take Notice

As you read today's post, please pause right now where and how you are.

Without changing anything, take a moment simply to notice how you are breathing right now.
Are your breaths deep and even or shallow, choppy, and irregular?

Notice how you are sitting.
Are you slumped over your computer?  Are your shoulders up at your ears?  Is your back erect or curved?  Are your legs crossed?  Are you sitting on one foot?

(Now, if you'd like, sit up straight, shoulders rolled back and down, head and neck aligned, back straight.  Keep your posture for the remainder of this post.)

When I sit for an extended period of time, whether reading, typing, or watching a movie, I easily fall into poor posture.  I, like many people I know, often curve by shoulders down and in, rather than sit up straight, with my shoulders back and down, away from my ears.  This is important to notice so we can begin to become more mindful of how we treat and use our body.  Even while driving, we need to be aware of stiffness and poor posture.  A great thing to do while sitting, such as at the computer or in the car, is to "wiggle" your neck and shoulders every 5-10 minutes, to keep them loose and keep your mind more aware of your body.  Often, it's easy to remember good posture while you're actively moving your body, but much more difficult while we remain still. 

Good posture is important and helpful in a number of ways. 

Good posture has the ability to reduce stress on the neck and shoulders--the spot where most of us hold our tension; for this reason, good posture can help to reduce head, neck, and back aches. 

It can also allow for increased oxygen availability, because it provides your lungs more room in which to inhale deeply.  If you noticed a moment ago that your breaths were shallow or uneven, working on your posture can help you regain a more stable breath cycle; this, in turn, can increase your energy and enhance your mood.  And read more about belly breath here.

Another important aspect of good posture is your confidence (self-confidence as well as perceived confidence).  Just think about what a rounded back, hunched shoulders, lowered head says to others.  Now, what does a straight back, shoulders back and down, head up say instead?

Today, whenever possible, sit up straight and maintain good posture for as long as you can.

Source: IKEA, jewelsathome.com

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