The Posture Police Blotter was on hiatus for awhile and I've revived it with a daily blog that is running from June 20 through September 22. This daily edition has a different focus to it and the gem in all of this is that what I'm going to be writing and what I've written about posture and the Alexander Technique are all related. Follow along and learn how!
The past few days have been anxiety-filled for me due to a heaping pile of worries, one of which is my concern over whether or not we will get our apartment unpacked and less like a construction zone during some time I've set aside to stay home and do just that this month. We've made some progress, but it seems like things are not moving quickly enough.
Fortunately though, the things I've been doing have been scrubbing, lifting, sorting, washing - a lot of work with my hands for long periods of time. I've found that one of the most effective way to calm the anxiety butterflies is to do something with my hands. It feels impossible at first. I feel like I'd rather pace or sit and ruminate, but once I get going, I do feel much better.
When I feel anxious, I get a butterflies-in-my-stomach sort of feeling, but as I work on a task my energy disperses and the butterflies stop or at least calm down. I can breath more easily too. I find butterflies difficult to just sit with. There's such a temptation to try to shut it down, which just feels stiffled. There's a very open feeling that goes along with "butterflies". I wouldn't call it pleasant, in fact it's pretty uncomfortable, or even painful. Washing dishes, for example, doesn't distract me from the discomfort or make me tighten up and turn it off. Using my body in a coordinated way to lift and scrub the dishes allows the feeling to spread out away from the belly so that it's not so concetrated in one space.
I used a similar tactic to work through contractions when I was in labor. If I didn't recoil into the pain, I could embody each more fully and then let it go. I did that by standing in what's called in Alexander Technique jargon, "the monkey" position, as I placed my hands on a wall. Getting the hands involved is key. If you stay open and don't stiffen, it gets you arms, your whole back and legs engaged.
Have you ever had a similar or different experience dealing with anxiety?