Time. Tension. Posture. Pain.

Mind and Muscle
Mt. Rushmore National Monument

My husband and I visited the Black Hills in South Dakota this past summer. I love the outdoors and it was absolutely spectacular.

One day during our trip, we visited Mt. Rushmore National Monument. Even though we’d arrived early it was quickly heating up and already quite hot by 10 o’clock. My husband Bruce and I decided to sit on the veranda with a view of the faces and have something to drink.

Various groups of people were milling around. Out of the blue, I heard a very young and loud voice say, “Come on! We haven’t got all day!”

I looked in the direction of the voice. To my amusement, I saw that it belonged to a boy who couldn’t have been more than three years old. The boy was with a group of people I could only assume were his family.

Bruce, who often has something smart to say, replied, “Sure you do. You do have all day.”

My first thought was my goodness he’s learning to rush and hurry at a very young age.

(and yes it wasn’t lost on me that we were at Mt. RUSHmore)

Most kids his age are blissfully ignorant of time. They exist and play and enjoy the present moment. Often to the frustration of their parents who are constantly telling them to “hurry up”, “get going” and that “we haven’t got all day.”

There was no doubt in my mind where this three-year-old had learned to rush from. And he obviously had absorbed the lesson very well.

Time itself isn’t stressful.

But how you choose to relate to time can be stressful.

Each one of us has 24 hours each day. There is some truth in what Bruce said. You do have all day. You do have time.

But you’re often telling yourself the exact opposite—that you don’t have time, you’re running out of time, and you don’t have all day.

All stressful thoughts.

And how does your body typically respond to stress?

By tightening and tensing.

And excessive muscular tension is a contributing factor to poor posture and musculoskeletal pain.

You can blame the stress in your life on many things but a lot of it’s simply created by how you think. And in particular how you think about time.

Always lacking enough time is typically more of a mindset than reality.

But since you create the stress of rushing by how you think—you can change it.

If you want to improve your posture, pay some attention to what you’re thinking.

Periodically check in to see how you’re thinking about what you’re doing. Are you focused on the task at hand? Or are you thinking you need to get this current task done so you can get on to the next one? That you don’t have all day?

If you find you’re thinking the latter, consciously refocus your thoughts on the task at hand and tell yourself “I have time”.

This is a simple suggestion but not necessarily easy to implement—especially if you’ve got a lifelong habit of rushing. And most of us do because we’ve unfortunately been taught to do so from a young age.

But it’s worth trying.

Your body and your posture will thank you for it.

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