The way the body functions has a huge impact on our ability to think and be productive. This is never more true than when you are in business for yourself where a sick day is a no pay day.
I recently attended a training course that give me a new appreciation for the power of breathing and listening to patterns and signals from the body. The course, run by US Occupational Therapist, Shelia Frick, discussed techniques to activate the inner core, improve self-regulation and assist individuals to engage with others. Although this course was aimed at children with regulation and sensory processing disorder, you only had to look around the room at the faces of the 30 occupational therapists during the practical to know that these techniques work wonders for well-functioning adult too. Each therapist, receiving treatment was relaxed, engaged and had a softened and beautiful glow on their face.
In business, we talk about wanting to “chill-out”, needing to “switch-off” when we have a few minutes spare. But realistically, we know that it’s hard to do! The phone is always ringing, emails piling in, the next customer walking through the door or the thought that if we stop, we will miss out on an important opportunity.
What if there was an effective way to maximise your attention, maintain your focus and feel relaxed as you worked?
1. Breathing – The body knows how to breath, it’s our instinctual number one priority and a small restriction can require a portion of mental energy to overcome. Breathing now becomes a conscious task rather than purely an instinctual process. Try lying on your back, close your eyes and notice the rise/fall of your breathing. Now purse your lips and breath out slowly 5 times, reflect on the changes to our breathing and concentration.
2. Posture – The body knows where alignment should be, as we grow we develop patterns which may pull us out of this natural alignment. Try sitting on a stable chair, notice the two bony parts at the bottom of your pelvis. Let your weight sink these bony parts onto the chair, now slowly move backwards and forwards from your hips until you find a ‘central’ position that feels ‘stable’. This is your central axis – your alignment for that moment.
3. Inner Core – It is nice to have abs, but the important muscles that give you more energy and burn more fat while you stand still are the inner core muscles which are constantly working to stabilise your body and movemen if they are activated! Breathing while in good posture will activate these muscles.
Eating right, sleeping enough and keeping fit are all important in maintaining healthy body rhythms. Always consult your healthcare professional if you are unhappy or unsure about your health condition!
If you’re not breathing freely, your sleep could be more restful.
If you’re not posturally aligned, your digestion could be more efficient.
If you’re not using your inner core, your exercise will fatigue quicker.
If you live in Sydney, lucky you! Visit www.earlylinks.com.au to find out how you can further develop your CAaPS Program in person. If you are living elsewhere, I will be visiting major centers in Australia over the next 6-9 months and would love your feedback on the exercises above.