Your body tends to follow your attention.
And what is your attention usually focused on?
Consider that question for a moment. Which sense are you typically most tuned into?
Hearing? Sight? Smell? Taste? Touch?
Typically, it is the sense of sight. We are very visual creatures. Our sense of sight is extremely dominant.
That’s not bad or good. It’s just important to understand.
So next time you wonder why you continually end up hunched over your computer this is one possible explanation.
As you get involved in your work—as you get more and more focused on the screen—your body has quite literally followed your attention.
Often the first instinct when we notice we are hunching—if we care—is to sit bolt upright. Maybe you have tried to enforce that on yourself. If so, how successful have you been?
Another way to approach changing a hunching habit is to experiment with a simple idea:
Let the world come to you.
As you read these words, first notice what you are touching.
When you notice what you are touching it helps you to be aware of how you are relating to your environment: to the ground, your desk, your computer, and your chair. And a huge part of your posture is about how you are relating to your environment.
How are you relating to the words on the screen?
If you are hunched forward toward the screen, try gently allowing your head to move up and your spine follow to come back and up away from the screen.
Let your head balance lightly on top of your spine, high up, right between your ears.
Can you still see the words clearly?
If not, the font needs to be bigger or you need to consider getting glasses. Seriously.
If you can see clearly, consider allowing the words on the screen to come to you, float up to your eyes, and be interpreted by your brain. You don’t need to push forward to grasp at the words on the screen. If you can see clearly you are not going to see any better by pushing your head forward toward the screen.
Letting the words come to you is a simple idea.
But it might be hard to implement.
If you find yourself constantly hunching over your computer, it simply means that you have practiced that way of relating to your computer screen for a long time.
Remember, practice makes you good at what you practice.
If you want to change things you have to practice something different.
Try this simple framework:
1) When you are working at your computer, choose one prompt. Anything that happens repeatedly throughout your day.
- It could be a timer you set to go off on your phone every so often
- It could be when you get a pop-up to check your e-mail
- It could be when you go to take a sip of your water from the bottle on your desk
2) When you get the prompt, notice what you are touching and how you are relating to your environment—in particular how you are relating to what you are looking at.
3) If you are hunching over your computer, resist the urge to sit bolt upright. Instead:
- Gently allow your head to move up and your spine to follow; come back and up away from the screen
- Let your head balance lightly on top of your spine, high up, right between your ears
- And allow the words on the screen to come to you
Let the world come to you. Your body and your posture will thank you for it!