Attitude is such an interesting word.
When I looked up the definition for Attitude this is what I found:
- a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. “She took a tough attitude toward other people’s indulgences”
- a position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state. “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest”
When working on Posture I find the concept of Attitude very useful.
Whereas we often think of Posture in a completely physical sense (a position we hold when we sit or stand for example), Attitude is broader (just read the definition above)
Your Attitude encompasses the physical (your position), mental (your thinking) and emotional (your feeling)
If you have been following my blog you know that when I talk about Posture, it is in a much broader sense than just how you sit or stand.
Your body, mind and emotions all work together and affect each other. Therefore, to look at Posture as just your physical position is missing a lot.
Take a look at the cartoon below. Read his body language. What does it tell you?
If I asked you to finish the cartoon by adding a speech bubble, what would you put in it?
The first thing that comes to my mind is:
Oh gosh, I’m late!
His physical Attitude is telling me about his mental Attitude. His head has literally left his body behind. I can practically read his mind. He is in a hurry.
Have you struggled to improve your posture by trying to sit up straight, pull your head back and your shoulders down? How successful have you been?
If you have not been particularly successful, then don’t keep on trying the same way.
Start by broadening your view of what Posture is.
Try thinking about your Posture as your Attitude.
Remember that your Attitude involves the interconnectedness of your physical position, your thinking and your emotions.
One way to work on the physical aspect of your Attitude is to indirectly work on it by paying a bit more attention to the thinking aspect of your Attitude.
One common complaint I have from students nowadays is Forward Head Posture. This is when the head (and neck) are habitually pushed forward of the body. Not unlike the cartoon.
Another problem that these same students are often dealing with is a constant state of rushing.
What they don’t usually understand is that their postural complaint and their state of rushing are very interconnected.
What is rushing really?
Rushing is thinking that you have to hurry up and get whatever you are doing now done fast, so you can get onto the next thing.
This rushing mindset, this thinking ahead all the time of the next thing, can literally pull us forward. Not unlike the cartoon.
If you have an issue with your head being too far forward of your body, instead of trying to fix your physical position, try experimenting with adapting your thinking from time to time.
Check in with yourself from time to time to see how you are thinking about what you are doing.
Are you focused on the task at hand? Or are you thinking you need to get this current task done so you can get on to the next one?
If you find you are thinking the later, consciously refocus your thoughts on the task at hand, adjust your Attitude and tell yourself “I have time”.
Give it a try.
Try an Attitude adjustment.
Your body and your posture will thank you for it.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference
– Winston Churchill
Cartoon used under permission from DIRECTION Journal