A fascinating six-second technique to enhance self-control in stressful situations:

  • Recognize the disturbance and decide to respond with self-quieting
  • Say to yourself "Alert mind, calm body" (or another focusing phrase of your choice)
  • Smile inwardly (invisibly, to yourself only)
  • Inhale slowly as you count to three, then exhale slowly, imagining that you're breathing through the soles of your feet or the entire surface of your body while you relax your jaw, hands, shoulders, and any other tense muscles

Practice this throughout the day, for a few weeks, and see what happens ...

(adapted from descriptions on a Kaiser Permanente web page, "Relaxation & Imagery", where the method is credited to David Sobel and Robert Ornstein's Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook, which in turn credits Charles Stroebel's Qr: The Quieting Reflex; cf. BennettOnStoicism (29 Apr 1999), BlameStorming (15 May 1999), LightMind (22 Aug 2002), SpiritualExercises (25 Oct 2002), StoicStruggles (22 Dec 2002), EatTheOrange (28 Nov 2004), ...)

TopicMind - TopicScience - 2006-02-07

(correlates: EatTheOrange, FinalExams, GibbonChapter16, ...)