My Tumble Into the Emotional Rabbit Hole…
…And how I climbed my way out
I’m a Posture Specialist, but this post has nothing to do with posture. But it has everything to do with perspective, which in turn can affect your posture.
A few days ago I had a mini meltdown. It started with the Academy Awards, where I proceeded to lose my “pickem” pool by only guessing 4 wins correct (versus the winner who got 14 correct!). I used to work in the movie industry, so I took this as a major blow.
Then, I was cooking, and I missed an ingredient in not just one dish but two dishes I happen to be cooking that evening. We ended up with two, rather tasteless dishes.
Finally, I got into an argument with my daughter (age 9), and let’s just say that this mom was not too happy with how I reacted. What happened to patient, loving mommy when she’s called upon?
So I lost it. It became of pool of self pity, and self loathing, and complete and utter self doubt.
I spent about 24 hours convincing myself that I could never cook again, never parent again, and that Oscar worthy movies are not worthy of me. It spilled into “I should quit writing a blog” and “I should stop helping people lead pain free lives”.
STOP. 24 hours later I was over it. I knew better. It was a day full of “first world problems” and “self victimization”. I am better than that. So, I picked myself back up and got back to work.
But it made me think; why go down this rabbit hole in the first place? What possesses some of us only focus on the negative and allow themselves to only see what’s wrong?
I spent the last few days noticing this in other areas of my life, and I noticed that I do this way more than I would like to admit. Especially in my career as a Movement Specialist.
I pride myself on having a good “eye”. That I can see postural imperfections better than your average person. That I can tell when someone’s glutes aren’t firing well, and can predict that perhaps they have chronic pain. I can sometimes even feel when someone is in pain, or a body part is not working right. I can interpret body language well. I am usually able to predict when a friend is pregnant, just because I notice things instantaneously and know if someone’s body is changing.
How do all those thoughts translate into my head? “Oh look at those rounded shoulders.” OR “Yikes they have no lumbar spine curvature and I bet their glutes don’t work.”
I find I’m only seeing the negative. And despite the fact that these negative thoughts are not about me, they are still negative.
So, I decided this week to experiment with my thoughts. It was time to start looking at the glass half full. Sure it wasn’t perfect. I found my judgemental mind cringing when I saw an older lady with a hunchback so pronounced, I concluded she had to be in pain. But then I checked out her jacket. It was cute: green and fringy in all right places. I would have never noticed that before. Oh and her smile. She was actually smiling at me! I saw her, not just my diagnosis.
When my clients walked into my studio, I stopped paying attention to their immediate postural problems. I noticed their cute workout pants. Their updated hair “do”. I looked for strong muscles. I complimented them as much as possible, and even toyed with giving visual corrections instead of correcting a movement with my negative words.
I’m not sure if anyone noticed but me. I felt lighter. More optimistic. My dismissive self thinking diminished too. A negative thought about my cooking skills has turned into “hey… check out what I cooked!” My daughter’s messy room has turned into “look how creative she is!” The loss of a silly “pick em” game has turned into “I actually got 4 winners correct, which rocks considering I only saw one movie this year!”
It takes conscious effort, but I feel the wave of self doubt behind me. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about your perspective. And positive thoughts have the power to change your pain, your posture, and your perspective.
Originally published at verticalign.com on March 6, 2017.