This week began with a “Pop!” – and not in a good way, either! You can read about my misadventure on Not How I Planned to Spend My Monday.
I’ve been thinking (and chuckling) about how my arm shot straight up in the air just as the doctor was beginning to put my hip back into the socket with the Captain Morgan Technique (if you’re squeamish, you may not want to view this video).
A raised arm, palm-outward hand is the Stop command I use with our dog, Holly. A dislocated hip is excruciatingly painful. If I wasn’t yet fully sedated, it stands to reason that even though I couldn’t speak, my body would go ahead and do it for me. I believe that by raising my hand, I was signalling that I wanted the doctor to stop.
I also think that this action epitomizes what a habit is. The unconscious performance of a behaviour. It’s been practised so often that the body remembers what to do – consider it muscle memory. Think about riding a bicycle, swimming, driving a car; even simple activities such as brushing your teeth or tying your shoelaces. You perform all those actions without thought. In fact, you can do them while doing something else.
I also see this habit formation when I work with clients. When under stress, breathing becomes shallow. Repeat this often enough and this becomes the normal way to breathe. Instead of breathing using the diaphragm, they are using the muscles of the neck and chest. If you have tight shoulders and neck muscles, check how you are breathing. More importantly, learn some powerful stress undressing techniques and get back to breathing naturally, not normally.
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Here are some questions for you to consider:
- What is your body saying that you are unable to say? How?
- Are there some habits that you wish to develop that you have not yet repeated often enough?
- Which unwanted habits need reframing? Do you have strategies in place to fill the void of the unwanted habit?