It’s another GRAND mental fitness tool for reducing and overcoming any anxiety, from just plain jitters, to social anxiety symptoms, all the way up to panic attacks.
The purpose of Motionless Sitting is to learn to control our muscles and muscular impulses – which are common when we’re nervous. Those fidgety -type impulses: wiggling around in a chair, flapping our hands around when we talk, wagging a foot up and down when our legs are crossed, tapping one foot on the floor, thumping on something with our fingertips, repeatedly rubbing the back of the neck, etc.
Sitting still is an art which can be ‘learned’. And it’s called motionless sitting, because it’s done in a sitting position – not lying down in a prone position. Why? Because when we’re out in public – at church, at work, getting a haircut, out for a meal, on a bus, an airplane, and lots of other places we’re doing what we’re doing while we’re sitting down, not lying down.
And we want to train our muscles to be still and calm while we’re sitting up. Pure and simple motionless sitting teaches us how we can be calm, collected and poised when were out in public.
Is motionless sitting the same as relaxing? Slightly. It could be considered that. But, the way I learned it was that if the body does fall into a relaxed state -- that’s a pleasant side-effect. And I do know from personal experience, from the beginning you may not get into that state. In fact, from the very beginning, sitting still can be more uncomfortable than giving in to those nervous twitches. But don’t let that last comment of mine dissuade you from using this formula. Those repetitive actions which may seem like unconscious movements are only a habit, a habit that CAN be changed. Like anything else, it takes practice. Sometimes, lots of practice.
Another important point: If we say the purpose or intent is ‘to relax’. and from the beginning when you start using this motionless method and you don’t feel relaxed – it’s so easy to get discouraged, give up and decide ‘it doesn’t work!!’ Or, ‘that doesn’t work for ME’, or ‘I CAN’T do it!’
In this approach, you don’t need to feel relaxed to be successful – you just have to sit still. If you’re a rookie, start small. Sit still for 3 minutes. Then up it to 5 minutes. Remember - the purpose is to ‘command’ your muscles to be still, unmoving, at rest. If somewhere along the line you do feel yourself relaxing – that’s a bonus.
..... another way of teaching yourself to be At Ease & In Control.
P.S. A similar muscle control technique can be used as a ‘fall asleep tool’ at night too – and I’ll write about that in a future entry.
© 2012 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved