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What Do You Actually Have Control Over?

2 min read

A student of mine recently asked me, “What do we actually have control over?”

As I get older I realize just how many things in life I don’t have control over—the weather, other people, the stock market, my long awaited flight that is now delayed 6 hours—and it seems with each passing year I come to terms with more and more things that I don’t have control over.

However, what I (and you) do have control over, and more control than you often realize, is our reactions.

If you are willing to accept this fact and the responsibility that comes along with it you can make a lot of changes in your life—in many areas.

Hey, wait a minute! This is a blog about posture. How does taking control of my reactions have anything to do with my posture?

A lot.

When I look at a student’s posture I see the effect of her reactions to her life over time.

Let me explain.

Let’s take a problem that is becoming almost epidemic in Western society—Forward Head Posture. This is when the head is habitually forward of the body.

This is not necessarily an affliction of old age. We are seeing it in younger and younger people. And it is to a great extent preventable. Check out this recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Forward Head Posture is sometimes called Text Neck because as texting becomes more prevalent we are seeing an increase in this condition.

But calling it Text Neck (or we could also call it Tablet Neck) implies that the activity of texting (or the use of a tablet computer) is causing the problem.

I like to use the term Forward Head Posture because it keeps the responsibility with you.

Do you know what you do with your head and neck when you text or use your tablet? If you don’t use either, do you know what you do with your head and neck when you sit in front of your desktop computer? (some of us still have and use those…including yours truly…)

Typical but unfortunate smartphone posture--notice how the man's head is dropped forward of the body from the base of the neck.
Typical but unfortunate smartphone posture–notice how the man’s head is dropped forward of the body from the base of the neck.

All of the above devices are neutral. They don’t cause you to push or drop your head forward. It is your reaction to those devices. And you do have control over your reaction. But awareness must come first.

With awareness comes choice.

Some of my students with Forward Head Posture have been given exercises to correct this such as tucking their chin in and pulling their head back and holding it for 10 seconds—repeat 5 times. Supposedly to strengthen the muscles that are meant to hold their head up.

In my opinion these exercises are futile if at the same time you continue to react to things in life by pushing or dropping your head forward when you text, use your tablet or desktop computer.

Invest your time in observing your reactions.

With awareness comes choice.

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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