Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
Of course this presupposes that I am aware of their thoughts. My intention is to know when I am opening my guitar case. This knowing requires awareness of the moment and my actions, which for me means I find my breath. As I follow the breath, the thoughts begin to slow. As they slow I then introduce new thoughts. These thoughts frequently fall under the category of Alexander Technique Directions, which introduces an ease and freedom into movement.
By introducing freedom into my movements, less stress accumulates in my system, allowing greater expressiveness and less opportunity for injury. Particularly the class of injuries known as repetitive use injuries which plague many musicians. Amazing that simple thoughts can be a form of preventive medicine and these same simple thoughts can make one a better musician.
Most of us have a poor understanding of how to use our bodies to get out of a chair, much less to have an effective understanding of performing a skilled task. These simple thoughts that begin to lead us to freedom via the Alexander Technique take time, and may be just about impossible without the assistance of a teacher. But then life is too short to try to do everything myself, so I accept I need help. So choose your thoughts with care and learn how to take better care of yourself. If you are a musician your next thought might be - find an AT teacher today.
Photo by Tony Fischer