My intention in this post is to explain the importance of looking out rather than looking inwards or, to use different terms, having an external focus rather than an internal focus. I will explain the benefits of looking out and offer some suggestions of when you might find it useful to experiment with this idea. Just like pausing, as described in a previous post, remembering to consciously look out is a simple idea that has some surprising benefits.
What’s your habit?
Do you often find yourself looking inwards, outwards or are you not aware of either? The choice is yours of course.
Habit 1 – Having little or no awareness of what you are doing or how you are doing it. This is a life lived on autopilot where habit takes over and you are making no conscious choices about where you place your awareness. As I have mentioned before in my blog, this may be fine if you are not in any pain or feeling stressed and are generally happy with life but if you are not, you might want to begin making some new, more conscious choices. Alexander Technique can help you do that.
Habit 2 – Looking inwards. This can lead to lots of self-judgements and trying to fix separate bits of you e.g. pulling your stomach in, your shoulders back, your head up etc. The problem with this is it is easy to lose a sense of the whole of you and the self-judgments are rarely of the kind variety.
Habit 3 – Looking outwards. This is the one we want to cultivate. Try it and see if you experience any of the following:
- A general sense of opening up in your body and your thinking
- A greater sense of freedom and ease
- A change in your breathing that feels good
- Having a better sense of the whole of you rather than bits of you
Examples of good times to experiment with looking out
- Any time you find yourself immersed in lots of internal chatter and lacking a sense of the space around you
- Anytime you are trying to fix one bit of you at the expense of the whole of you
- When you are trying to perfect a skill or complete a piece of work especially if you are feeling frustrated by lack of progress
As with ‘pausing’, ‘looking out’ is simple but so easy to forget especially when it is most needed. I would love to hear how you get on with it Feel free to use the comments box at the bottom of the page to let me know.
If this post has sparked your curiosity and you are interested in finding out how the Alexander Technique can help you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07957 981240 get in touch using the contact icons
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