Stand Up Straight, Improve Your Focus

ribbon on fingerI like walking and, as you may know, most mornings I go to Saint Mary’s Park here in the South Bronx for my walk. Sometimes I jog when I get there. Sometimes I even run. Full out run!

But today I walked around the track for two miles trying my best to concentrate on standing up straight and in balance and alignment.

When you find that perfect alignment, your body flows from one step to the next with a minimum of strain. It feels like you could walk a hundred miles without getting tired.

A Checkpoint for Alignment

So I selected a spot at the top of the oval where after each lap, I would check whether I was standing up straight.

  • Were my shoulders back?
  • My shoulder blades down?
  • My head directly over my spine? My chest high?

Or was I bending forward and hunching over.

The idea was that I’d try to pay attention to my posture on every lap, all the way around. But just in case, I’d remember to check it at a specific spot on the track. That spot was sort of like a reminder ribbon on my finger.

But lap after lap, I’d get to my checkpoint and find that I wasn’t quite upright. My shoulders had crept forward and I had lost that effortless gait.

My mind had wandered onto other ideas, and as it did, my alignment slipped.

Aligning Your Mental State

When I work at my desk, I often lose my mental alignment. I let myself become distracted and, like my shoulders at the park, my concentration sags.

Try as I might, my focus wanders from the things I set out to accomplish to other things that pop up. I’ve got to wage an internal battle to pull myself back to the tasks at hand.

How Do You Stay in Alignment?

How do you keep yourself aligned and on task?

Do you easily flow in a directed, unified way and can you stay on task for minutes and even hours? Or does your concentration wander sometimes and keep you from functioning at your max?

I’m considering setting an alarm on my computer to ding every 30 minutes. Perhaps a little ding will work the same way that spot on the track works to get me to refocus on what I set out to do.

TryTry ThisThis

Notice When You Fall Out of Alignment

As with most things in life, the key is becoming more aware of what’s going on. Pay special attention this week to your alignment — either physical or mental. Are your shoulders hunching forward? Are you losing concentration? Just noticing will help you to improve your alignment and focus.

Leave a comment about your alignment in the comments below, or let yourself stand tall over on Facebook and leave your comment there.

Copyright: mblach / 123RF Stock Photo