Increasingly, people are being advised or ordered to self isolate. While this is undoubtedly helping to avoid infection it is unfortunately causing isolation, stress and worry for many.
To help deal with this I have created this podcast and video based on techniques I have been teaching over the past 15 years to improve breathing and create calm when confronted with stage fright and anxiety.
You may find them helpful in the current circumstances.
The first podcast is accessible here.
A video version is available here: Whispered Calm
The Alexander Technique – Presence and Performance
Presence and performance go hand in hand in every aspect of our life.
The degree to which we are present in our activities or how well we perceive ourselves in any given situation, determines our performance and results.
When we know what we are doing, how well we are doing it, and the impact we are having, we can readily change our behaviour.
When we behave without conscious awareness we are left to relying on our habitual ways. If we are fortunate our habits will see us through.
Personal self-mastery is the skill of being consciously aware of what we are doing and how well we are doing it. Self-mastery depends on our becoming aware of, and changing habits, especially those that limit our performance and success.
Flow is the effortless state of performance that comes from conscious, focused, successful performance.
We are all creatures of habit. Habits are the brain’s way of getting things done without too much thinking. But habits are not always efficient nor effective.
The mechanisms of habits are complex involving cognitive and physiological signals which we may, or may not interpret correctly and respond to.
In general we use 4 kinds of habits to live our lives:
- Life habits like the routine we use every day to get going in the morning
- Learned habits such as those we learn to do particular tasks like play a musical instrument, drive a car or make a cup of tea
- Situational or Environmental habits are those we slip into unconsciously such as when driving our car, working at a computer, and watching tv
- Life-event induced habits that become embodied when we are exposed to shocks and traumas such as significant injury, illnesses and accidents
Habits quickly become unconscious. Rather than enhancing our performance, many habits can actually limit our performance and success or cause pain.