Reducing Conflict 21 Take a Mental Vacation

In this brief article, I will share a technique that will allow you to take a vacation in your mind anytime you wish.

Imagine you are in a conflict situation at work and you are getting pretty worked up. Imagine the blessing of being able to transport yourself into an activity that you find personally peaceful and rejuvenating.

Create Your Ideal Environment in Your Mind

The technique to accomplish this transformative activity is rather simple to do, but it does take practice. First, you need to create some separation from your current stressors.

Sit in a comfortable place with your feet on the floor and breathe deeply for about 30 seconds with your eyes closed.  Now begin to imagine that you are in your most happy place in the world.

Get All of Your Senses Involved in the Analogy

The trick here is to get as many of your senses involved in making the journey to your imaginary haven as possible.  Let me share an example to illustrate. Suppose your ideal vacation spot would be on a warm beach in Mexico.

Keep your eyes closed and begin to hear the lapping of the waves as they roll in from the warm sea.  Smell and taste the salty air around you. Feel the breeze as it touches lightly on your skin. Enjoy the warm feeling of the sun on your skin. Taste the sweet and salty margarita that the waiter just gave you.

Keep breathing deeply as you experience the peacefulness of the beach and the warm sand beneath you.  Within a minute or two, your blood pressure will go down and you will experience a kind of restorative force that feels terrific.

Slowly Come Back to Reality

Now, it is time to come back down to earth and join civilization again, but you will be in a completely different mindset than you were in just a few minutes earlier.

As you engage with other people (who prior to the exercise were annoying you), continue to feel the warm beach and engage them with kindness and empathy. You will appear to be a different person to the former agitator, and the interaction is likely to take a much more constructive turn. 

The actual environment has not changed, but you are a changed person, having just returned from your vacation.  You will be amazed at how well this technique works to reduce conflict in your world.  The world is actually the same, but you are very different.  That makes all the difference.

Free Video

Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on the technique to take a mental vacation.

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.


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