Recognition of the Force of Habit

We get into the habit of performing a certain act in a certain way, and we experience a certain feeling in connexion with it which we recognise as 'right. ' The act and the particular Feeling associated with it become one in our recognition. If anything should  cause us to change our conception, however, in regard to the manner of performing the act, and if we adopt a new method in accordance with this changed conception, we shall experience a new feeling in performing the act which we do not recognize as 'right'. We then realize that what we have hitherto recognized as 'right' is wrong. (Constructive Conscious Control, p. 131-2 

 

The quotation above describes one of Alexander's main discoveries. What has become habitual seems normal to us, and what seems normal seems right. It is the nature of a habit that it can become locked in and resistant to change. This happens by means of a mechanism involving another of Alexander's concepts, that of unreliable sensory appreciation. (See “Unreliable Sensory Appreciation” on page 87.) The habits, mental and physical, which characterise the way we 'use' ourselves the way we see and define ourselves are fundamental. Our brain progressively becomes used to the chronic tensions associated with them. We are no longer in touch with our psychophysical state - what we really feel, what we really need, how we really are. Over time some habits may become counterproductive, even detrimental, and, worse still, resistant to change because of the sensations of normality embedded within them. The Alexander Technique offers a way of unlocking the force of habit and enabling change.