Using a Mental Foxhole for Self-Discipline

During the last days of World War II someone commented to President Harry Truman that he appeared to bear up under the stress and strain of the presidency better than any previous president, that the job did not appear to have aged him or sap his vitality, and that this was remarkable—especially in view of the many problems he faced as a wartime president.

His response was, “I have a foxhole in my mind.” President Truman mentioned that he was able to go inside his own imagination to escape stress and to relax.

In essence, the president created a “theatre in his mind” where he went when he wanted to leave the many problems and challenges he inevitably encountered. Anyone can implement this self-discipline to relieve stress, which is an emotion. Simply re-direct your thinking and the emotion follows.

In general, males find this easier than females because men have already cultivated the approach of compartmentalizing their thoughts. However, by using a theatre of the mind, women will be just as successful.

The more you realize that the only way to change a feeling or emotion is to change your thinking, the more effective you will be able to handle challenges. Of course, understanding this is only the first step. As with any procedure, it needs to be implemented at least seven times before your brain will have made new neural connections to form a habit.