Stress Management

Phyllis Korkki, an editor for The New York Times and author of “The Big Thing: How to Complete Your Creative Project Even if You’re a Lazy, Self-Doubting Procrastinator Like Me,” wrote about how she overcame the anxiety and tension that came with getting her book deal. The Alexander Technique played a big part.

Image by jscreationzs at

Image by jscreationzs at

Korkki said Alexander Technique lessons "helped me undo habits that had been tensing me up for years. Having an expert try to correct your unique postural peculiarities can be a help..." She also offered a few Alexander Technique tips to help anyone get through their day:

  • Imagine the top of your head.  Korkki's suggests, "At the risk of looking like a monkey, you can even touch the top of your head to get a sense of where it is in space (you may be surprised at how off you were). This act of imagination gently guides you into better alignment."
  • Notice and wish for the width of your shoulders. In Korkki's words, "Imagine horizontal arrows moving in opposite directions from the sides of your shoulders expands your chest area and allows you to breathe more freely."
  • Look for parts of the body where you can allow more ease. Korkki explains, "Try to be aware of any part of the body where you are exerting more tension than you need."   For example, when using the computer, notice if typing and using the mouse can come from your fingers as opposed to effort or gripping with your hand, your wrist and your whole arm.

Korkki also explains, "The methods I learned helped me write the book. But they also made me realize that workers of all stripes could use them to reduce stress, and to think more clearly and creatively. ...Even now, I still catch myself freezing in my chair like a cornered animal when I feel overwhelmed at work. But now I know I have the power to arise, expand and unscrunch, and to banish that imaginary lion from my cubicle."  Thanks Phyllis Korkki for this powerful success story!

Source: Korkki, Phyllis. "Applied Science: Ready to Snap at Work? Get in Touch with Your Inner Animal." New York Times, Business Section. August 7, 2016: Page BU3.