Today’s podcast is about the snowball effect. A snowball that rolls down a hill, gathering more and more snow can have a massive impact when it gets to the bottom, kind of like a runaway train. So what happens when we let our thoughts or suboptimal movement patterns snowball? In terms of our mental state, we get more and more overwhelmed. With movement, one thing compounds another and we can end up with a repetitive strain injury or movement dysfunction that’s difficult to correct.
I’ve developed an acronym to help you become aware of problems before they snowball. The acronym is STOP.
S stands for survey the situation. If you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about all the things you have to do, you can stop going down a path of negative thoughts by doing something simple like writing the things you have to do down. With movement it’s about focusing on how you move or stand so that you notice when you’re putting your body under any strain.
T stands for tune into the feelings. The more we tune in, the more we’re going to be present in that moment to moment awareness. For example, how does it feel to hold your head up when it’s not in proper alignment?
O stands for objectively respond. That means respond without personalizing it or without vilifying yourself. Instead of looking at yourself and saying, I slouch or, look at my poor posture, think, my head needs to be put back in this position. And then I’m going to hold it there.
P stands for plan another route.So instead of going down the path with the snowball, work out what you can do when you start to feel overwhelmed or notice your posture or movement patterns are suboptimal. For example, when you wake up worried in the middle of the night, plan to have a drink of water, take 10 breaths then go back to sleep.