I was facilitating the principles of The Anxious Organization with a team last week and we had the most fun talking about the challenges of taking a Six Second Vacation.
Anxiety can be fueled by a variety of external and internal threats. Coping requires some stress reductions techniques with the hope of reducing anxiety-laden symptoms. Somehow we have to be able to THINK while everything in us screams REACT – whether it’s fighting or fleeing.
To help us rationally process what is happening Dr. Jeffrey Miller suggests taking a vacation. Not necessarily an extended weekend getaway. Not even a good night’s sleep or a two week trip out west. These can be scheduled and will help us relieve some anxiety. In the moment when our bodies are reacting he suggests taking a Six Second Vacation – an intentional, mental “stepping away.” It can be during a meeting, on a conference call, or in any situation which triggers anxiety.
When you need to THINK in any tense situation take a Six Second Vacation.
- Inhale for 2 seconds, “sending the air where you need a little help.”
- Exhale for 2 seconds, “releasing all muscle tension in your body, starting at the head and moving to the toes.”
- Do NOTHING for 2 seconds.
There is it. One team member upon reflecting on this technique said he was so ramped that day he needed a Twelve Second Vacation. Whatever works!
What if you took a Six Second Vacation and your blood pressure lowered, your heart quit racing, and you could think more clearly allowing you to make a principle-based statement instead of a reactionary, fear-based rant?
A Six Second Vacation may end up being a regular stopping point in your itinerary.