A US Study in The American Journal of Medicine found that 62.1% of all US bankruptcies are caused by medical illness.
With statistics like that, we can no longer rely on the simplicity of one cause, one effect – in other words, poor physical health (cause) may lead to pain (physical effect), depression (emotional effect), lost productivity (career effect) and eventual bankruptcy (financial effect) for 62.1% of Americans.
In Tom Rath’s rather interesting book, Well-being, he points out that well-being isn’t only about being happy, wealthy or successful. He cautions those of us who are quick to buy programs to get rich or lose weight or sort out our love lives, because when these single-focus programs fail, we may wonder what went wrong.
When it comes to correcting our posture, we need a similar approach. If we are to truly apply the best formula for fixing our posture, we need an approach that addresses more than just our physical well-being. Although our physical lifestyles contribute largely to our body postures, it’s essential to address all elements of a healthy lifestyle, if we are to get real results and results that last.
Three essential elements of a healthy lifestyle
When I work with my posture pupils, I start with a very long eligibility questionnaire designed to identify areas that need more attention, as well as pointing out areas of strengths. I often find certain elements lacking in those pupils not satisfied with their health results to date; those who have been working at fixing their posture for a long time, with little or no results. I like to breakdown these healthy lifestyle elements into three essentials:
- Physical lifestyle
- Chemical lifestyle
- Emotion lifestyle
When most people think about their posture they focus on how they sit or stand, what chair or pillow they should buy, or the latest fitness fad to solve all their problems in less than a month. That’s certainly not the very best approach! The second biggest posture mistake, is forgetting your lifestyle! Physical lifestyle is very important, but it’s not everything.
The most effective way to address the physical causes of poor posture, is to make daily posture exercise a habit. When you create a healthy posture habit for life, you hard wire it into the brain, until it no longer feels like a chore. You would no more miss your daily Posturecise, than you would miss breakfast, having a shower or brushing your teeth. Creating a habit takes time; there is no quick fix, but if you do a little and often (ideally, every day) it’s a habit you can learn to love!
Where do you live? By the sea or in a busy city? What kinds of things do you put on your skin? What kind of chemicals do you clean your house with? How much coffee or soda do you drink? How many pills do you pop? The chemistry of your body affects the workings of your body. Did you know that a highly acidic diet (meats, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, soda, wheat, sweeteners, juice) cause calcium to be leached from bone? This leaves your bony skeleton vulnerable as you age. Your chemical lifestyle may be just as important as your physical lifestyle when it comes to fixing your posture.
Were you shy as a child? Did you develop shy posture? Do you not want to stand out – are you embarrassed by your posture? What kind of support network do you have? Do you live in a stressful environment? Do you have a supportive partner? Do you yell, or do you keep everything bottled up inside? Emotions matter and they matter a lot!
Amy Cuddy (Ted Talks) explains that just two minutes of power posing (think Wonder Woman) can boost testosterone levels. Increased levels of testosterone have been shown to lower the stress hormone cortisol and to have a direct correlation with our levels of success in life. Suddenly we have a lot more reason to get our emotions in check!
If you are tired of getting just average results when trying to correct your posture, maybe it is time to rethink your lifestyle. Good posture requires that you give attention to each of the three essential elements of a healthy lifestyle.
What one thing could you do today, to make a change in one of these areas of your life? Feel free to share what you’re taking on, in the comments section below.