I was tempted to leave it at that, and have a one-word blog post for this latest in my series for computer users! Simply, if we just keep reminding ourselves to breathe as we work at our computers we’ll be a lot better off!
I find that most people end up holding their breath a lot while working at the computer – often completely subconsciously.
And holding the breath means excess tension! – something we want to avoid at the best of times, and maybe particularly at the computer when so many other things can “go wrong” as we focus exclusively on the screen, seemingly forgetting that we inhabit a body that needs to be look after too.
In past blog posts I’ve looked at why our posture is important to our breath, and why it’s useful to have a fairly accurate basic understanding of breathing – in particular the way the ribs move with our breath, and that we don’t need to “take a breath!” I encourage you to read those past posts – the information is completely relevant as you sit at your computer.
So rather than repeating myself here, let’s think instead about when we are more likely to hold our breath or restrict our breathing as we work. I think we’re likely to hold our breath when:
- concentrating hard on getting a piece of work done
- we’re waiting for a page or post to load
- the technology is not working the way it should…
- we’re anxious about an email we’ve received
- we’re writing an email we’re anxious about
- we’re in a hurry
- we’re stressed
Can you think of more?
It’s all about improving our awareness of what we’re doing right here, right now. Getting in touch with the breath helps you be present to yourself. When you notice that you’re holding your breath, just allow yourself to exhale gently, observing the in-breath that will naturally follow. Take time to pay attention to your breath as often as possible while you work.
Holding your breath affects your whole system. Alexander Technique teaches us to pay attention to our selves – mind, body and breath. What do you notice about your breath as you work at the computer?