“S.A.I.L.” Your Way To Freedom

Here’s a little technique, with a catchy acronym, that’s bound to be of assistance. I made it simple so you could easily etch it upon your mind for frequent use. Come on, say it aloud a few times…


And feel – visualize – the warm breezes blowing upon your skin as you say it.

Since it’s such a cool technique, I’m going to discuss S.A.I.L. in two articles. So be sure to keep tuning-in for Part 2.

Okay, let’s talk about what it means and how to work it. Let’s say you’re going out to dinner with a friend. Lord knows you didn’t really want to; however, you – the one who can never say no – caved in. Well, the event is at hand; and you now find yourself on the very threshold of being entrapped in one of your most uncomfortable and vulnerable positions – seated at a table for two, right smack-dab in the middle of the main dining room of a tony restaurant.

And if the setting alone isn’t bad enough, you have a history of becoming horribly anxious when eating in front of people. You’re absolutely sure you’ll choke on a piece of that filet you want to order (but won’t); and before anyone could come to your aid, you’d suffer incalculable amounts of humiliation before finally keeling over dead as a door nail with a hunk of steak stuck in your trachea.

Well, anyway, shortly after the maitre d’ seats you, and you’ve ordered the first of several martinis, you begin to feel very edgy, you’re becoming very squirmy in your chair, and you’re convinced all eyes are now focused upon you – and you alone. “Dang,” you say to yourself, “I can’t take just sitting here until the martinis kick-in. And going back and forth to the restroom’s gonna’ look kinda’ weird.”

And wouldn’t you just know it – after about five long minutes of this self-abuse, you begin to sense the presence of a panic attack as it approaches your table on a serving cart.

Okay, right at this very moment – stop everything.

Now, slowly take a few refreshing abdominal breaths and begin whispering to yourself…


Yes, say it to yourself as you begin to feel those warm, gentle breezes of relief upon your skin; the ones you felt just a bit ago as you were saying it in a more immediately secure environment.

And here’s the magic of the acronym…

STOP    everything in your life right now.
ASSESS    exactly what’s going on inside and outside of you.
INTERPRET    if the situation is truly threatening and merits alarm.
LOGIC    your way to the correct response.

Again, the very moment you sense your traditional panic signals, start repeating and believing…


Then feel the approaching peace as you actually S.A.I.L. your way through your perceived and wrongly identified crisis.

That, chipur readers, is a wrap on Part 1. Be sure to come back for the final portion, okay?

We’d all love to read your comments. Won’t you take the time to jot-down a few notes?

image courtesy: travelooce.com