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Have you ever successfully changed something about yourself that is not under your conscious control?


Greta
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In particular, I am thinking of my posture, and my accent.  These are not normally things that I think about, they are subconscious.  So how could I go about changing them?

 

In case more detail helps:

 

Posture - I tend to slump through my upper back and shoulders.  I have done so since high school, and I'm in my 40's now.  That's a lot of years of a bad habit to "undo".  But I think it's important.  As I'm aging, it's starting to become more problematic (painful) so I want to address it asap.  I should probably mention that I've tried yoga and pilates.  And while I can get through the class itself with good posture and positioning, it does not carry over into the rest of my day.

 

Accent - Born and raised in Oklahoma, but I haven't lived there since college.  So my accent is far less noticeable than my friends and family who still live there, but it is still noticeable.  It's basically the same as a Texas drawl.  My "I'll" sounds more like "all", for example.  And while I mean absolutely no offense or disrespect to Oklahomans, it is not an accent that sounds nice to me.  I'd really like to sound more "generic" American, like what you hear on tv (which is Californian, I suppose?).  Basically, I would just prefer that people not be able to pinpoint which region of the country I'm from after hearing me speak.  

 

Any thoughts on how I could go about changing these things?  I've tried just being more aware and more careful, but it's hard to keep up the effort, and easy to just fall back into what feels natural without thinking about it, you know?  I really don't know how to do this!

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About the posture. There's a tape you can use. I think a physical therapist would have it, but we got it from an occupational therapist.

 

The OT put strips of tape on DD's back. I think it helped remind her (consciously) and her muscles (unconsciously) the stand up straight.

 

Google Kinseo tape for posture.

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For posture, you can sit for part of the day on a balance ball. How about make it a habit that when you are on these forums, you will sit on the ball instead of in a chair?

 

For accent, there are many CDs available on the market.

American Accent Training (http://www.americanaccent.com/) must be the most well-known.  

Mastering the American Accent (https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-American-Accent-Lisa-Mojsin/dp/0764195824) is another one. 

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About the posture. There's a tape you can use. I think a physical therapist would have it, but we got it from an occupational therapist.

 

The OT put strips of tape on DD's back. I think it helped remind her (consciously) and her muscles (unconsciously) the stand up straight.

 

Google Kinseo tape for posture.

 

This looks like a great idea - thank you!

 

 

For accent, there are many CDs available on the market.

American Accent Training (http://www.americanaccent.com/) must be the most well-known.  

Mastering the American Accent (https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-American-Accent-Lisa-Mojsin/dp/0764195824) is another one. 

 

 

Thanks so much for the suggestion!  Being cheap, I checked on iTunes to see if there were any similar (free!) podcasts, and there are.  I'll start with those, but I'll keep these in mind for later.  Thank you!

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I'm working on my posture, I have computer back syndrome.  A standing desk helps, but if you are standing slumped it doesn't really make much difference as just sitting slumped, lol.

 

My DH went through this a couple of years ago and dramatically improved his posture (and still is working on it).  He did have to make it more conscious. He went to a physical therapist for 6 or 8 sessions specifically to address his posture and learn about how to stand correctly, and what stretches to do.  This isn't an option for me (different insurance now) but I do stretches and check myself in mirrors as I walk past to try and visually correct it and keep it conscious. 

 

This is the book/site that has been the most helpful in learning about posture and how to change it:

http://www.naturalposturesolutions.com

 

Most interesting to me was that what "looks" straight is actually NOT straight, but leaning backwards. 

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Another thing you could do for posture is set posture awareness alarms. If you have a smart phone, it's easy to set as many as you want for as close together as you want, then gradually space them out.

 

 

Good idea.  Also, I wear a fitness tracker that has the option of inactivity alarms -- I don't know why it didn't occur to me to turn on that feature and use it for a posture check.  Thanks!

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LOL, I have no accent from years of working in a large hotel with people from around the world and needing to make sure I am understood the first time. Get a part time job with people from another country so that you must talk carefully, and it'll fix you right up. I'm kind of not joking. In the hotel I worked with people from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Making sure that people understand you the first time becomes second nature. 

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Accent. I had to work really hard, though. And people told me I would revert after visiting my family. I had a very thick, hick-like southern accent. I moved to Texas, and went to work in healthcare. Most of the patients were from other countries, and had a really hard time u derstanding me. So I changed it as much as I could.

 

Posture. I'm working on it. My mom ended up bent at the hips at a 60ish degree angle. I catch myself leaning forward and over to the side sometimes, like she did.

 

Lots of feelings and reactions to those, that are so ingrained that they feel almost instinctual.

 

 

It's encouraging to hear a success story!  Do you find that you do indeed revert when you visit your family?  I have noticed it's true when I visit (it's far, so when I go, I stay for 10-14 days) but that I quickly undo it again once I get back home.

 

Yes, instinctual is a good description.  It's like trying to change the way you breathe!

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LOL, I have no accent from years of working in a large hotel with people from around the world and needing to make sure I am understood the first time. Get a part time job with people from another country so that you must talk carefully, and it'll fix you right up. I'm kind of not joking. In the hotel I worked with people from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Making sure that people understand you the first time becomes second nature. 

 

 

I wouldn't be opposed to doing something like that!  Daughter is going to be starting college in a year, and I'm planning on starting to work then.  But where we currently live, there's no opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people.  We may not be staying here, though, so who knows what the future might bring.  

 

That's pretty cool that you had such good "training"!   :001_smile:

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Posture--I took a class called Restorative Movement from an Alexander Technique instructor.  The Alexander Technique focusses on posture, but not in a rigid, PT way; rather, in a fluid way.  Something that the teacher said a lot was 'Bring your awareness to...' (ie to your shoulders, your hips, your lower back, whatever).  And that has stuck with me.  I bring my awareness to my body, and consciously relax areas I am clenching (I do that unconsciously a lot), and draw myself into a fluid but good posture.

 

It doesn't stick with me every minute, but it has improved my average posture a lot, and I don't get nearly as stiff on long car trips anymore.

 

I strongly suggest seeing whether you can find an Alexander Technique instructor in your area.  They are remarkable. 

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Posture--I took a class called Restorative Movement from an Alexander Technique instructor.  The Alexander Technique focusses on posture, but not in a rigid, PT way; rather, in a fluid way.  Something that the teacher said a lot was 'Bring your awareness to...' (ie to your shoulders, your hips, your lower back, whatever).  And that has stuck with me.  I bring my awareness to my body, and consciously relax areas I am clenching (I do that unconsciously a lot), and draw myself into a fluid but good posture.

 

It doesn't stick with me every minute, but it has improved my average posture a lot, and I don't get nearly as stiff on long car trips anymore.

 

I strongly suggest seeing whether you can find an Alexander Technique instructor in your area.  They are remarkable. 

 

 

I googled "Alexander technique" with the name of my city, and got more hits than I would have expected!  I will look into this more.  Thank you!

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The single thing that helped me learn control over my speech most, even more than years of therapy, was acting classes. When you learn to put on an accent and get into a character, it is easier to then consciously control your day to day character. It's still really obvious when I am tired, because I start to lose that hard won control, but overall, it has improved a lot-to the point that it's normally mistaken for an accent. (I am considered to have a severe speech-language disability, so I'm at the really extreme end here)

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The single thing that helped me learn control over my speech most, even more than years of therapy, was acting classes. When you learn to put on an accent and get into a character, it is easier to then consciously control your day to day character. It's still really obvious when I am tired, because I start to lose that hard won control, but overall, it has improved a lot-to the point that it's normally mistaken for an accent. (I am considered to have a severe speech-language disability, so I'm at the really extreme end here)

 

 

Wow, that's something I never would have thought of!  I am in awe of actors who can convincingly do various accents.  That's such a cool skill!  And I'm glad that you had such success with it!  I'm afraid that personally I am far too shy to ever take acting classes, though.  That would be panic-inducing for me!

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Posture - I tend to slump through my upper back and shoulders.  I have done so since high school, and I'm in my 40's now.  That's a lot of years of a bad habit to "undo".  But I think it's important.  As I'm aging, it's starting to become more problematic (painful) so I want to address it asap.  I should probably mention that I've tried yoga and pilates.  And while I can get through the class itself with good posture and positioning, it does not carry over into the rest of my day.

 

Any thoughts on how I could go about changing these things?  I've tried just being more aware and more careful, but it's hard to keep up the effort, and easy to just fall back into what feels natural without thinking about it, you know?  I really don't know how to do this!

 

Ditto here--bad posture in upper back/shoulders, since high school or younger.  My parents barked a lot about it but I never seemed to change it longer than their barking, LOL.  Can I recommend something that seems totally unrelated, but, for me, has fixed the posture issue?

 

Swimming!  Total body workout that's very low-stress on the joints.  

 

I tried for many years to "be more aware" and to change my posture by habit, but if I got distracted or busy, my posture would just return to where it had been.  I'd do stretching/yoga/etc. and, while all of that was good in the moment, it never corrected posture over the long term or even later in the day.  I think there's a lot of value in stretching, and I still do it often (ideally daily)...it just never resulted in a change in posture for me.  I did play a lot of sports in high school and college and was fit, but none of them were especially demanding upper-body-wise.  So just any type of exercise doesn't necessarily equate to better posture.  

 

I started swimming 3-4 times a week, an hour each session, coached (so a hard workout).  The effect on posture has been amazing and I think it's all related to core strength and upper body strength.  I've never had better posture and I'm close to 40!  I don't even think about it.  My husband notices it and it's easier to stand up straighter. If I miss a week, my posture starts to head back to where it was.  I can see a difference.  The swimming = more shoulder and upper-body workout than I've ever found elsewhere but it's fun and not grueling.

 

My DD's posture is not looking great.  She spends a lot of time doing detailed things and reading, which creates slouching and shoulders rolling forward.  Now I nag like my parents did, but it's not producing anything lasting.  I'm trying to get her to do more full-body exercise like biking and I'm signing her up for a season of swimming.  I think if she can develop upper-body strength and tighten her core, those shoulders/upper back will naturally go back into a better position.  

 

If swimming's not a possibility or your style, maybe you can find other full-body workouts that focus on upper-body strength--especially the shoulders: rock wall climbing?  Certain types of more-demanding horseback riding where the shoulders are engaged/a good core workout (obviously not just trail riding)?  Old-fashioned pull-ups, though those never worked well for me.  Also, for me, it's key to have a coached workout with other people; otherwise I wouldn't push myself as hard.

 

Good for you for continuing to work on things...it's never to late in life to improve!  My parents are aging now and the #1 thing in their favor health-wise is that they stay disciplined to exercise every day!  Keep moving!

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Ditto here--bad posture in upper back/shoulders, since high school or younger.  My parents barked a lot about it but I never seemed to change it longer than their barking, LOL.  Can I recommend something that seems totally unrelated, but, for me, has fixed the posture issue?

 

Swimming!  Total body workout that's very low-stress on the joints.  

 

I tried for many years to "be more aware" and to change my posture by habit, but if I got distracted or busy, my posture would just return to where it had been.  I'd do stretching/yoga/etc. and, while all of that was good in the moment, it never corrected posture over the long term or even later in the day.  I think there's a lot of value in stretching, and I still do it often (ideally daily)...it just never resulted in a change in posture for me.  I did play a lot of sports in high school and college and was fit, but none of them were especially demanding upper-body-wise.  So just any type of exercise doesn't necessarily equate to better posture.  

 

I started swimming 3-4 times a week, an hour each session, coached (so a hard workout).  The effect on posture has been amazing and I think it's all related to core strength and upper body strength.  I've never had better posture and I'm close to 40!  I don't even think about it.  My husband notices it and it's easier to stand up straighter. If I miss a week, my posture starts to head back to where it was.  I can see a difference.  The swimming = more shoulder and upper-body workout than I've ever found elsewhere but it's fun and not grueling.

 

My DD's posture is not looking great.  She spends a lot of time doing detailed things and reading, which creates slouching and shoulders rolling forward.  Now I nag like my parents did, but it's not producing anything lasting.  I'm trying to get her to do more full-body exercise like biking and I'm signing her up for a season of swimming.  I think if she can develop upper-body strength and tighten her core, those shoulders/upper back will naturally go back into a better position.  

 

If swimming's not a possibility or your style, maybe you can find other full-body workouts that focus on upper-body strength--especially the shoulders: rock wall climbing?  Certain types of more-demanding horseback riding where the shoulders are engaged/a good core workout (obviously not just trail riding)?  Old-fashioned pull-ups, though those never worked well for me.  Also, for me, it's key to have a coached workout with other people; otherwise I wouldn't push myself as hard.

 

Good for you for continuing to work on things...it's never to late in life to improve!  My parents are aging now and the #1 thing in their favor health-wise is that they stay disciplined to exercise every day!  Keep moving!

 

 

Thanks so much for sharing this, because swimming would not have occurred to me!  There is a pool at my gym, but I never use it.  I do lift weights, including upper body and back, but same as with yoga:  I practice good posture while I'm doing it, but it just doesn't carry over into the rest of my life.  Any ideas on how often I might have to swim to get these benefits?  

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I googled "Alexander technique" with the name of my city, and got more hits than I would have expected!  I will look into this more.  Thank you!

This is a different thing, but my dd's piano teacher managed to use the Alexander technique to avoid carpel tunnel surgery and continue to play the piano. She took a weekend seminar. 

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Wow, that's something I never would have thought of!  I am in awe of actors who can convincingly do various accents.  That's such a cool skill!  And I'm glad that you had such success with it!  I'm afraid that personally I am far too shy to ever takMye acting classes, though.  That would be panic-inducing for me!

Actually a lot of actors are very shy people. They learn to be good at putting out a character and acting that character, but many are very shy on their own. My youngest is an excellent actor, but has lots of anxiety with being in groups of people.

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Actually a lot of actors are very shy people. They learn to be good at putting out a character and acting that character, but many are very shy on their own. My youngest is an excellent actor, but has lots of anxiety with being in groups of people.

 

 

That's interesting.  I've always thought of actors as people who enjoy (or at the very least don't mind) being the center of attention.  There are few things that I hate more than being the center of attention!  :lol:  I'm sure that it would be very good for me to push myself beyond the confines of my comfort zone.  Maybe someday!

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My physio recommended improving posture at the desk by doing the following.  Close your eyes and pretend to thread a needle.  Open your eyes - where your hands are is where your screen should be.  Pull your screen forward and snuggle your chair forward until your eyes are at that distance.

 

Now sit the way you were told not to: sit up straight on the very front of your chair and tuck your feet as far back underneath you as possible.  That forces you into a healthy S-bend.

 

At that point, you are set in place.  If you start to slump forward, your eyes will tell you to sit up straight again.  If you slump backwards, it should feel odd because you bottom is so far forwards.

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My physio recommended improving posture at the desk by doing the following.  Close your eyes and pretend to thread a needle.  Open your eyes - where your hands are is where your screen should be.  Pull your screen forward and snuggle your chair forward until your eyes are at that distance.

 

Now sit the way you were told not to: sit up straight on the very front of your chair and tuck your feet as far back underneath you as possible.  That forces you into a healthy S-bend.

 

At that point, you are set in place.  If you start to slump forward, your eyes will tell you to sit up straight again.  If you slump backwards, it should feel odd because you bottom is so far forwards.

 

Thanks!

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You can consciously change your accent, as people in newscasting and public speaking often do this. It is unlikely that you can totally eradicate all regional speech, but you can pick a couple of words and change them until it is a habit. I did do this (though I was late teens-twenties) with my own regional speech tendencies. (Which is not to say you would never know where I came from, just that the more obvious tells are gone.) It was a matter of choosing certain words and being aware when I said them, and changing them. For example, the way "wash" and "water" are pronounced here, as "warsh" and "wood-er". There is also a regional tendency to pronounce words like "them" and "there" with a "d" sound - "dem dere O's down in Baldimore." Incidentally, the long o pronunciation regionally is distinct and has a very rounded O sound; I still have more of this than middle America. My friends say they notice it most in words like "pony" and "polo."

 

So, if you are aware of something in particular, like how you pronounce "I'll," rhyme it with a word and practice it that way, like "I'll dial from the Nile." Then, strive to use the new accent in conversation. (It's fine to tell your good friends that you are doing this on purpose. Most people admire efforts to improve something about oneself.) I had the good fortune of working in a law firm in my late teens and twenties, so I got a lot of good grammar and speaking input from the attorneys. :)

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You can consciously change your accent, as people in newscasting and public speaking often do this. It is unlikely that you can totally eradicate all regional speech, but you can pick a couple of words and change them until it is a habit. I did do this (though I was late teens-twenties) with my own regional speech tendencies. (Which is not to say you would never know where I came from, just that the more obvious tells are gone.) It was a matter of choosing certain words and being aware when I said them, and changing them. For example, the way "wash" and "water" are pronounced here, as "warsh" and "wood-er". There is also a regional tendency to pronounce words like "them" and "there" with a "d" sound - "dem dere O's down in Baldimore." Incidentally, the long o pronunciation regionally is distinct and has a very rounded O sound; I still have more of this than middle America. My friends say they notice it most in words like "pony" and "polo."

 

So, if you are aware of something in particular, like how you pronounce "I'll," rhyme it with a word and practice it that way, like "I'll dial from the Nile." Then, strive to use the new accent in conversation. (It's fine to tell your good friends that you are doing this on purpose. Most people admire efforts to improve something about oneself.) I had the good fortune of working in a law firm in my late teens and twenties, so I got a lot of good grammar and speaking input from the attorneys. :)

This is a great suggestion, thank you! I'll start with "I'll" since I know it's a problem, love your rhyme by the way, and I'll also try to pay more attention to my speech and find out what else needs work. As to the part that I bolded, I would be very happy with that outcome! I know realistically I will never completely eradicate my accent, but if I could just make it a little less obvious that would be nice!

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Although who says the posture you are trying to achieve is the correct one or best one? 

 

 

 

 

Well, my trapezius muscle is screaming at me that this posture is the wrong one, so I need to try something else!  :D

 

 

And then the accent, it's what makes you you.  My husband has an accent and he says he doesn't have an accent...everyone else does.  So everyone else has an accent.  Not you.

 

:lol:  Yeah, the problem is that what makes me "me" prompts people to start singing "OOOOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains!"   :001_rolleyes:   :ack2:   :banghead:   

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One of my friends, after he started dating again post divorce and realized he had an unflattering slouch, gave his kid permission to get on his case every time he saw him slouch. The kid loved it, and it took a few months, but it worked!

 

I could definitely enlist the help of my daughter.  Honestly, she's developing the same bad posture that I have!   :(  Maybe we could help each other.

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I've heard great things about Alexander technique; another suggestion is ballet or pilates classes.

 

 

I wonder if Barre classes might help.  I did that for awhile, but dropped it because it was rather expensive.  Might be worth it though if it would help!

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Although who says the posture you are trying to achieve is the correct one or best one? 

 

And then the accent, it's what makes you you.  My husband has an accent and he says he doesn't have an accent...everyone else does.  So everyone else has an accent.  Not you. 

 

I mentally laugh every time someone claims to not have an accent. Ummm . . . no. That's not possible.

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I've changed my posture.  It is basically creating new muscle-memory.  The frequent alarms will help a lot, as will core-strengtening exercises.  I didn't use alarms because the reason it got called to my attention was physical pain.  When I stood up straight, the pain is manageable.  When I slump, it is not.

 

One other thing I did at the same time, related to posture, was to work on mentally raising my center of gravity.  You know how a young actor can play an old person--they put on all the makeup and so on and they LOOK old, but when they walk, the illusion falls away?  Well, GOOD actors know that as we age, our center of gravity goes lower.  So playing young adult, your center of gravity is in your shoulders; middle-age, it's in your hips; 65, it's in your knees; 80 it's in your ankles.  I figure if they can do this, so can I, but in the reverse direction, so I have been conscious of keeping my center of gravity high.  I think it works because most people don't guess my age right...they are usually young in their estimations...but only if thy have been around me when I am moving !  LOL.  

 

When you are straightening up, don't "throw your shoulders back."  Roll your shoulders from front to back. and then relax.  Suck in your gut AND your back muscles (it helps to do core-exercises) and bend your knees a little bit.  Some people tuck their tailbone forward; others disagree with this...but I don't think you want a sway back.  THEN, imagine someone has a string attached to the top of your head and they are pulling you up, gently.  Then try to stand that way while you are standing.  

 

If you pay attention for about 40 days, you can change this to a pretty natural stance, but you'll probably always have to keep it in mind, at least a little.  :0)

 

 

 

 

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I've changed my posture. It is basically creating new muscle-memory. The frequent alarms will help a lot, as will core-strengtening exercises. I didn't use alarms because the reason it got called to my attention was physical pain. When I stood up straight, the pain is manageable. When I slump, it is not.

 

One other thing I did at the same time, related to posture, was to work on mentally raising my center of gravity. You know how a young actor can play an old person--they put on all the makeup and so on and they LOOK old, but when they walk, the illusion falls away? Well, GOOD actors know that as we age, our center of gravity goes lower. So playing young adult, your center of gravity is in your shoulders; middle-age, it's in your hips; 65, it's in your knees; 80 it's in your ankles. I figure if they can do this, so can I, but in the reverse direction, so I have been conscious of keeping my center of gravity high. I think it works because most people don't guess my age right...they are usually young in their estimations...but only if thy have been around me when I am moving ! LOL.

 

When you are straightening up, don't "throw your shoulders back." Roll your shoulders from front to back. and then relax. Suck in your gut AND your back muscles (it helps to do core-exercises) and bend your knees a little bit. Some people tuck their tailbone forward; others disagree with this...but I don't think you want a sway back. THEN, imagine someone has a string attached to the top of your head and they are pulling you up, gently. Then try to stand that way while you are standing.

 

If you pay attention for about 40 days, you can change this to a pretty natural stance, but you'll probably always have to keep it in mind, at least a little. :0)

Thank you, Patty Joanna! I never thought about the center of gravity thing. Interesting!

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I dropped the colloquial speech patterns of my home state and a few accent markers (my home doesn't have a marked accent, but there are a few tells). This included things like learning to pronounce a few words differently, learning to use the verb "to be" or the suffix "ing" in the following ways: "the bathroom needs to be cleaned" or "the car needs washing." Where I grew up, these are not used. One would instead say, "the bathroom needs cleaned" or "the car needs washed." There were other patterns that I changed. I do find that I need to pay careful attention to my speech when I spend time with my mother/brothers, but otherwise, the habits are now well-ingrained.

I recommend asking a few people to help you drop the patterns or that the accent. I was lucky, I was surrounded by people who did not use my speech patterns, and they were happy to point it out when I did. It's very helpful.

Posture: I read Katy Bowman's work and worked very hard at changing my poor posture over about 6 months. I still check myself often through the day. That change was actually fairly rewarding because within just a few days of a few postural changes, I had less pain.

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I dropped the colloquial speech patterns of my home state and a few accent markers (my home doesn't have a marked accent, but there are a few tells). This included things like learning to pronounce a few words differently, learning to use the verb "to be" or the suffix "ing" in the following ways: "the bathroom needs to be cleaned" or "the car needs washing." Where I grew up, these are not used. One would instead say, "the bathroom needs cleaned" or "the car needs washed." There were other patterns that I changed. I do find that I need to pay careful attention to my speech when I spend time with my mother/brothers, but otherwise, the habits are now well-ingrained.

Posture: I read Katy Bowman's work and worked very hard at changing my poor posture over about 6 months. I still check myself often through the day. That change was actually fairly rewarding because within just a few days of a few postural changes, I had less pain.

Yes, I see what you mean. I have, for example, tried to train myself to say, "I'm going to the store" or "I'm about to go to the store" rather than that very OK/TX way of saying it: "I'm fixin' to go to the store." I will try to think of other little speech habits like that which might be "tells".

 

I ran across Katy Bowman's blog ages ago when I was trying to track down the cause of some foot pain. I'll have to check it out again!

 

Thank you!

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Have you ever taken a dance class? Or done exercises that focus on your core muscles? Bellydance, Pilates, a balance ball, sitting on the floor. . . anything that will teach your abs to hold you up and take some of the responsibility away from your back can be helpful. Dance posture can eventually bleed into your everyday life. There's even the possibility it'll make you a wee bit taller. Your back will thank you and you you'll just hold yourself better and look nicer.

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Have you ever taken a dance class? Or done exercises that focus on your core muscles? Bellydance, Pilates, a balance ball, sitting on the floor. . . anything that will teach your abs to hold you up and take some of the responsibility away from your back can be helpful. Dance posture can eventually bleed into your everyday life. There's even the possibility it'll make you a wee bit taller. Your back will thank you and you you'll just hold yourself better and look nicer.

I would love to learn to dance! I'm so pathetically uncoordinated that I would need a verrrrrry patient teacher! :D But yes, this would be a fun option!

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one of the best things for my posture is yoga.  it strengthens the muscles that control posture (especially the core).  my posture improves just as a bonus.  I don't give it any thought - it just "does".  and I breathe better after a week of at least three all-round practi (preferably four).   I'm currently having thyroid/adrenal issues and can't . . . :glare:

 

but my posture automatically improves.

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Thanks so much for sharing this, because swimming would not have occurred to me!  There is a pool at my gym, but I never use it.  I do lift weights, including upper body and back, but same as with yoga:  I practice good posture while I'm doing it, but it just doesn't carry over into the rest of my life.  Any ideas on how often I might have to swim to get these benefits?  

 

I'm shooting for 3-4 times per week, a coached (set workout) hour each time.  More often than not, though, it ends up being fewer days than that each week due to scheduling, lack of childcare, etc.  So with as few as 1-2 times/week, my posture's improved a lot.  

 

Sometimes I lift weights and used to lift often (5 days/week) at other points in life.  I think weight lifting is great.  The swimming, though, is what has done it for me--beyond any other sport. It really is possible to improve fitness and posture in middle age!  

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Re: accent - a few years ago I had a few dental implants which effected my speech, such that I developed a lisp overnight! I sat with my kids and read and read and read aloud, making myself to form a new speaking habit. Perhaps that would work for you?

Edited by fdrinca
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Re: accent - a few years ago I had a few dental implants which effected my speech, such that I developed a lisp overnight! I sat with my kids and read and read and read aloud, making myself to form a new speaking habit. Perhaps that would work for you?

 

listening to one you want to emulate as well.

 

I've been watching old magnum episodes.  I hadn't realized the actor who plays higgens is from TEXAS.  (I knew he was an american.)  he developed his british accent by listening to lots and lots and lots of Laurence Olivier (he made a hunky mr. darcy)  and emulating how he speaks.

 

what's funny is some of the online gamers think 2ds is from the UK because of how he speaks when speaking with them. . . . these are people from the UK . . .

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I would love to learn to dance! I'm so pathetically uncoordinated that I would need a verrrrrry patient teacher! :D But yes, this would be a fun option!

I think most teachers who teach adults to dance are VERY patient. It's not like you're prepping students for a career in dance so that pressure isn't there. You do have to be mindful of technique and posture so that nobody injures themselves. It takes time for older brains to get accustomed to learning and remembering steps, so that's just expected and worked into the plans. Older students are just going to feel it more the next day and really need a good warm-up and cool down. Adult students seem to be their own worst critics, so it's not even hard to be extra patient with them. Once nervous students relax and stop worrying so much they tend to thrive. I find an uncoordinated student MUCH easier to teach than someone with no natural sense of rhythm. Even then I hope people aren't afraid of an adult dance class.

 

Eta: Here is something you can do for posture without any type of class. Bend down to touch your toes. (You don't really have to touch them.) Then, use the muscles in your abs to push up your spine, one vertebrae at a time, until you are standing. Don't hold your breath and relax your back. It's hard, but let those muscles take a break while your gently engaged abs take on more work to support yourself. It may also help to imagine that your head isn't attached to your neck. How would you have to hold it to balance it on your spine? If you slouch into turtle/computer posture, your head would fall off! Putting something on your head also helps you find decent posture so the object doesn't fall off.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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(snip)

 

Eta: Here is something you can do for posture without any type of class. Bend down to touch your toes. (You don't really have to touch them.) Then, use the muscles in your abs to push up your spine, one vertebrae at a time, until you are standing. Don't hold your breath and relax your back. It's hard, but let those muscles take a break while your gently engaged abs take on more work to support yourself. It may also help to imagine that your head isn't attached to your neck. How would you have to hold it to balance it on your spine? If you slouch into turtle/computer posture, your head would fall off! Putting something on your head also helps you find decent posture so the object doesn't fall off.

Thank you for this suggestion. This makes total sense to me and I'm going to DO IT.

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Re: accent - a few years ago I had a few dental implants which effected my speech, such that I developed a lisp overnight! I sat with my kids and read and read and read aloud, making myself to form a new speaking habit. Perhaps that would work for you?

 

Reading aloud does sound like a great suggestion.  I thought perhaps I should make an audio recording of myself and listen to it to find out better when/how my accent is presenting itself.

 

 

I think most teachers who teach adults to dance are VERY patient. It's not like you're prepping students for a career in dance so that pressure isn't there. You do have to be mindful of technique and posture so that nobody injures themselves. It takes time for older brains to get accustomed to learning and remembering steps, so that's just expected and worked into the plans. Older students are just going to feel it more the next day and really need a good warm-up and cool down. Adult students seem to be their own worst critics, so it's not even hard to be extra patient with them. Once nervous students relax and stop worrying so much they tend to thrive. I find an uncoordinated student MUCH easier to teach than someone with no natural sense of rhythm. Even then I hope people aren't afraid of an adult dance class.

 

Eta: Here is something you can do for posture without any type of class. Bend down to touch your toes. (You don't really have to touch them.) Then, use the muscles in your abs to push up your spine, one vertebrae at a time, until you are standing. Don't hold your breath and relax your back. It's hard, but let those muscles take a break while your gently engaged abs take on more work to support yourself. It may also help to imagine that your head isn't attached to your neck. How would you have to hold it to balance it on your spine? If you slouch into turtle/computer posture, your head would fall off! Putting something on your head also helps you find decent posture so the object doesn't fall off.

 

 

I sure wish that I could come to your class!  Thank you for this encouragement, and for this posture exercise!

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