9 Real Ways To Stop Rushing Around

Do you rush?

Are you that person who hurries from place to place and from thing to thing?

Do you wish that you could learn how to slow down, and not be so tense?

Do you wish you could lead a more mindful life?

After all, if you are rushing through life how can you ever stop and smell the roses?

A vase of spring daffodils
It’s spring, so stop rushing and stop to smell the daffodils.

I understand. I used to be that person: The Rusher.

Years ago one of my Alexander Technique teachers described  how he felt whenever he was running late. He called it the “I Think I’m Going To Die Syndrome.” The symptoms are as follow:

  1. Racing heart.
  2. Sweaty palms.
  3. Dry mouth.
  4. Clenched jaw.
  5. Shortness of breath.
  6. Always in a panic, the opposite of calm.

I realized that I had this syndrome bad and I realized that I needed to take control of my rushing around. I needed to create a saner approach to moving through my life.

In short, I was turning myself into a pretzel in an effort to get from point A to point B and in a timely manner.

In the Alexander Technique we talk about End Gaining.

End Gaining is when you are so committed to the outcome that you are not attending to the process of getting there.

Since the Alexander Technique is all about process, I clearly was not practicing the Alexander Technique in a meaningful way.

(The Alexander Technique is a mindfulness practice which helps you de-stress your life both mentally and physically. You can learn more about the Alexander Technique here and here.)

My rushing is a way of End Gaining.

I was so consumed about getting to my destination and getting there on time that I would completely forgo any sense of calm and control.

What’s even crazier is that–though I was almost never late–I was always under the impression that it was my rushing that assured that I would be on time.

How crazy is that? Does rushing ever assure that you will be on time? No. You will get there when you get there. Rushing and the anxiety it creates doesn’t bring you to your destination any sooner

This was no way to live and I needed to change.

I have been working on this problem ever since I recognized myself in my teacher’s description.

Here are my solutions:

  1. Ask yourself this question. “So what if I am late? “ With the exception of catching an Alaskan cruise liner out of Vancouver* or watching the solar eclipse, is being 100% punctual really necessary? Unless you are that person who consistently runs 15 minutes late, being a few minutes late is no big deal. Is it worth getting tied into knots? The thing is you are going to get there and you are going to get done what need to get done. So ask yourself, “So what if I am late?” And if you can respond “yeah, so what?” then cut yourself some slack and saunter into your appointment. It will be a whole lot better than racing in with sweaty palms and out of breath.
  2. Exhale. Breathing is a powerful way to stop the rushing. Paying attention to your breath can slow you down. Cultivating a breathing practice is simple, easy, and free! Start with an exhale. You need to empty your lungs before you can fill them up. Exhale and wait. Close your lips easily and lightly. Wait until you feel a little tug in your chest and then allow the air to come in through your nose. While you wait for the tug, do not think of this as holding your breath. Instead, think of it as calmly waiting for the urge to allow the breath back in. Do this easily for 3 to 5 times. FM Alexander called this the Whispered AH. Here is a video of me teaching the Whispered AH. This is a great little routine to practice to calm yourself down…whether someone has cut you off in traffic or you are about to make that big presentation to your colleagues. Your breath is very powerful! So, cultivate a breathing practice to counter the rushing and slow yourself down.
  3. Leave More Time– I know this one seems obvious but sometimes the obvious is worth repeating. Consciously tell yourself that you will leave 5 to 10 minutes early. Just do it. If you are that person who habitually leaves 5 minutes too late, then be honest with yourself and realize that this habit is not serving you well. You must consciously tell your self to leave 5 or 10 minutes earlier. Eventually, it will become your habit to schedule your day this way. Trust me, your life will feel much saner once you adopt this practice.
  4. Put one less thing on your to-do list. This might seem to be another no-brainer but when I tell my clients this they typically respond that this is a good idea and one they hadn’t thought of…really. Every night before I create my To-Do list for the next day. (I like to refer to it as my Ta-Da list because at the end of the day when I have hopefully completed all of my tasks I can then say Ta-Da! ) Here are some ideas on how to create the Ta-Da list.1. Prioritize your activities. Know which activities are essential and which are not. 2. Do the most difficult thing first.  For instance, by far the most important thing on everyone’s list is to move more. If going for a walk is difficult for you, do that the very first thing in your day.  3. Set things out the night before such as work out wear, ingredients for breakfast, etc.
  5. Open up your peripheral vision. When you are in a rush and stressed out you are inevitably going to become more tense. When you are tense and stressed you will have the tendency to stare and or fix your eyes. One way of dealing with this is to think about softening your eyes and allow your peripheral vision to expand. Here is one way to do that:  Notice what you are looking at right this instant. Now, allow your eyes to see a wider frame.  This can be tricky. I don’t want you to LOOK from side to side; I want you to keep looking ahead, but allow your eyes to naturally take in more. Continue to increase the frame so that you can see more of what is on either side of you. In order for you to do this your eyes have to become softer. When your eyes become softer you will become more relaxed and less anxious. Remember there is no separation between the mind and the body so how you think is how you are. You can read more about that here.
  6. Think of where you are coming from, not  just where you are going. I have noticed  that many people who rush have a tendency to lean forward. This is not surprising. Almost everything is in front of us. Our eyes, nose, mouth and hands. We walk forward 99% of the time. We are oriented forward and some of us are just far too forward. Instead, occasionally think about where you are leaving. Notice your back. Notice the space behind your back.  Think about your back releasing upwards. Notice how these thoughts slow you down, in a good way.
  7. Don’t tail gate. Ok, I’m serious here. Tailgating will not get you anywhere sooner except maybe the Emergency Room or on every other driver’s #$%&* list. Let me ask you this. Do you like it when someone is tailgating you? I didn’t think so. So clean up your driving, slow down, and leave plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you. Driving is dangerous enough as it is so we don’t need any tailgating and rushing to make it even more so. (Sorry, tailgating brings out the schoolmarm in me.  This is one of my rants.)
  8. Sing or listen to fun music while driving. I have this wonderful student who when I queried him about the amount of stress he felt in his life replied, “ I am never stressed out or anxious. I listen to show tunes when I drive.” You can too. Distract yourself from the destination and listen to songs that make you sing. What are your favorites? My playlist includes Alison Krauss, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, and Carol King.
  9. Ask yourself: AM I rushing? If the answer is yes then slow down!! Remind yourself not to rush by putting post it notes around your house, at your workplace, and especially in your car. Life is too short to always be on the fly. Let’s all make a commitment to Slow Down!

 I hope that you have found these suggestions helpful.

Once I became aware of my rushing I was able to shift gears and slow down. The difference in my life has been noteworthy.

I don’t arrive at events all sweaty, out of breath, and anxious. Instead I am me, calm, relaxed, and happy.

Let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you. And please, feel free to share my articles with your friends.

Also if you have any topics that interest you, please let me know!



How You Move Matters! You can learn how to move better with my Amazon bestselling book  Agility at Any Age: Discover the Secret to Balance, Mobility, and Confidence.  My book is illustrated with 40 videos that you access with your iPad or smartphone!

You can purchase it here. 

Teaching people how to move well is my passion. Sign up for posts that teach you how to be more comfortable in your body! Click here to sign up or use the form to the right of this post!

My name is Mary Derbyshire. I am a fitness and movement coach. My methodology is the Alexander Techniquea mindfulness practice that teaches you how to move better. When you move better you feel better and when you feel better your whole life improves! Let me know what you think or ask a question! I love to hear from my readers! Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!

Daffodil Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Walk? How To Turn That Power Walk Into A Mindful Stroll!


Do you walk or do you stroll?

One of the best ways to savor summer is to take a stroll.

Don't walk instead stroll and slow down to admire the beautiful hummingbird.
Slow down, take a stroll, and cultivate mindfulness.
Photo: Andrea Reiman

You may be wondering why I use the word stroll instead of walk.

Taking a stroll is much different than taking a walk. A walk implies purpose, a stroll implies less intent.

A stroll allows for wandering. Just the sound of the word “stroll” is easier on the ear.

Walking has a job to do. Strolling is like going on vacation.

The Merriam Webster dictionary lists stroll’s synonyms as to saunter, to amble, and to ramble.

Oh, I like the sound of those words!

To take a walk means something else. It has a goal.

One walks for fitness. One walks to lose weight. You take a walk to clear your head. Some people take walks to elevate their heart rate or to increase bone density. Others take their dogs out for a walk. And still, there are those who walk to “get their steps in!”


But what if you changed your mindset about walking and instead took a stroll?

Instead of walking briskly to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular system, what if you intentionally slowed down to a stroll and noticed the birds singing in the trees or your neighbor’s blooming sunflowers?

On your next stroll, you may notice that you are breathing more deeply, that you feel calmer or that perhaps those negative anxiety-creating thoughts have calmed down. Your stroll has turned into an expression of mindfulness.

Are we losing sight of the value of slowing down so that we can relish our world…stopping to smell the roses?



Don't walk instead take a stroll and smell the beautiful roses.
Stop and smell the roses! Photo: Unsplash, Osman Rana


According to the Positive Psychology Program, among other benefits, a mindful stroll can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase immune function
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower heart rate
  • Increase awareness
  • Increase attention and focus
  • Increase clarity in thinking and perception
  • Lower anxiety levels
  • Increase experience of being calm and internally still
  • Increase experience of feeling connected

Doesn’t that sound great! Who doesn’t want REDUCED STRESS!!!

I say let’s change the emphasis and take a stroll. Let me know how it goes. What do you notice about yourself and the world around you?

My next article will teach you how to stroll and walk better.

Here is another article on savoring summer!

How You Move Matters! You can learn how to move better with my Amazon bestselling bookAgility at Any Age: Discover the Secret to Balance, Mobility, and Confidence.  My book is illustrated with 40 videos that you access with your iPad or smartphone!

 You can purchase it here. 

My name is Mary Derbyshire. I am a fitness and movement coach. My methodology is the Alexander Technique, a mindfulness practice that teaches you how to move better. When you move better you feel better and when you feel better your whole life improves! Let me know what you think or ask a question! I love to hear from my readers! Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!


4 Steps to Sleep Better

I think that we’ve all been there. You can’t sleep! Dreaded insomnia!

A worrisome thought, a stressful day, a difficult period of time in your life and you can’t sleep. Maybe you can’t fall asleep, maybe you wake up at 1 am and can’t get back to sleep, maybe you open your eyes at 4 am and that’s it you are up for the rest of the day or perhaps you sleep a full 8 hours only to wake up still feeling exhausted.

I understand I have been there.

The results of sleeplessness are significant and detrimental. They include risks of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, increased anxiety and mental stress and of course the increased risk of driving a car and accidents.

In short, it is much better for your health and sanity when you get 7- 8 hours of shut-eye every single night!

  • Sleep helps boost your immune system and helps ward off the flu or cold.
  • Sleep improves your memory. Research demonstrates that sleeping after learning can improve memory retention.
  • Sleep can reduce anxiety and mental stress.
  • Sleep improves coordination.
  • A good night’s sleep makes you feel great.

So how do you improve your sleep?

  1. First and foremost you need to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and this includes weekends. Did you know that you have an inner clock that determines when you feel energized and when you feel sleepy? For instance, perhaps you have noticed that at certain times every day you may feel more energized or less so. This is due to your internal clock called your circadian rhythm. By sticking to a consistent bedtime and rising schedule you will regulate this clock and increase the likelihood of better sleep!
  2. Exercise regularly. I know you have heard it a million times before but people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and experience a deeper more restful sleep. What do I mean by exercise? Walk at least 30 minutes 5x’s a week. If walking 30 minutes is too challenging at first do what you can and work up to it!
  3. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Get the TV out of the bedroom. Make your bed cozy and comfy. Use soft lighting. Try a sound machine to stifle disturbing noises. I use this one here is a link to AmazonListen to quiet music. It may sound crazy but I like to listen to soundtracks of distant thunderstorms! Avoid caffeine. Instead, drink herbal teas such as my favorite Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepy Time.
  4. De-stress before you close your eyes. I am going to teach you a very simple breathing practice that will calm you, reduce stress and anxiety and prepare you for a restful night of blissful sleep. I call it Exhale and Wait to Breathe. It is based on breathing practices developed by FM Alexander, the creator of the Alexander Technique. I have created a short instructional video that you can access below. Breathe like this 3-5X’s before crawling under the covers and closing your eyes.

My name is Mary Derbyshire. I am a fitness and movement coach. My methodology is the Alexander Technique, a mindfulness-based practice that teaches you how to move better. When you move better you feel better and when you feel better your whole life improves. You can get my Amazon best-selling book Agility at Any Age: Discover the Secret to Balance, Mobility, and Confidence here.

This post includes affiliate links to products that I use and reccomend.

1.Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_chassenet’>chassenet / 123RF Stock Photo</a>


How To Lessen Anxiety With Mindfulness

Being with my horse is another way to lessen anxiety.
Me in my happy place with my pony Tonka.

Let’s talk about anxiety.

Do you get anxious from time to time?

I do. A lot.

This may come as a surprise to some, but I am an anxious person. Perhaps that is why I teach people how to move better and feel better. Have you ever heard the expression “You teach best what you most need to learn”?

I needed to learn how to be less stressed and anxious.

I have been teaching movement, fitness, and the Alexander Technique for many years. For those of you who are not familiar with the Alexander Technique, it is a mindfulness-based practice that teaches you how to move and think better. Practicing the Alexander Technique is an exercise in mindfulness.

But let’s get back to anxiety.

You see people come to me to resolve anxiety issues. How could I be an anxious person if I truly practiced what I preached?

Well, the answer is simple.

Life is hard and at times life is incredibly hard for all of us.

I have discovered though, that the tools I have learned through the Alexander Technique have definitely made my life easier, less stressful, and thus less anxious.

I want to teach you these practices.

Here are three things that I teach my students to help them cultivate mindfulness and cope with anxiety. I have created three videos to make the instruction easier.

De-Stress With The AT Lie Down

  • The first video teaches the AT Lie-Down. Practicing the AT Lie Down once or twice a day for 15-20 minutes can be life-changing. Finding a quiet spot in your home or office and lying down in this way not only does wonders for your back, neck or whatever ails you but it also provides you with the opportunity to really stop and let go of emotional, psychological and physical tension. At first, if you cannot last the full ten-fifteen minutes, and most people can’t, then start off a few minutes at a time and increase the time incrementally. You may listen to quiet music if you like, but I prefer to practice in silence. There are many health benefits to being silent for extended periods of time. Silence can improve memory, regenerate brain cells, reduce stress, and increase creativity. You can click here for the video.

Reduce Anxiety With Mindful Breathing

  • The second video teaches you a very powerful way to calm down through breath. I call it Exhale and Wait to Breathe. Have you noticed that when you are stressed and anxious that your breathing becomes more shallow? For many of us, our voices go up a notch! Exhale and Wait to Breathe is the answer to that problem and many others. When we consciously attend to our breathing we can redirect our moods in a very powerful way. A breathing practice will improve your energy level, slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety. I always end my Alexander Technique sessions with this breathing.  Click here for the Exhale and Wait to Breathe video.

A Little Movement Refreshes

  • The third video is titled A Healthy Back is a Supple Back. This short practice revitalizes you in a couple of minutes. Sometimes just moving a little can make you feel much better and less pressed. This is an excellent movement series that is especially good if you have been sitting in front of your computer for a while. A mini-break if you will to de-stress and feel better. Click here for the video.

Here is another blog I wrote about how the Alexander Technique changed my life. Click here for the post.

My name is Mary Derbyshire. I am a fitness and movement coach. My methodology is the Alexander Technique, a mindfulness-based practice that teaches you how to move better. When you move better you feel better and when you feel better your whole life improves. You can get my Amazon best-selling book Agility at Any Age: Discover the Secret to Balance, Mobility, and Confidence here.

My interactive book is jam-packed with instructional videos that you can easily access with a smartphone or with a Kindle, iPad or computer.

So I’ve just given you some good information about easy practices that can help you address anxiety. I have also created a course that teaches you how to sit better. If you would like some more instruction on how to sit better you can sign up for my FREE video course Sitting for Success here.

If you would like to learn more ways to improve mobility and get out of pain sign up for my course 5 Ways to Heal Back Pain here 

Please feel free to ask me questions.  I am passionate about teaching you how to move and live better. Moving well is a critical component of aging well.

XO Mary


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