One of the things that stood out from my time in the police academy was the tactical pause. The idea was that before getting out of the car we would take a moment to calm ourselves to prepare for our next call. The tactical pause was used after a stressful situation, a bad car accident or a gruesome murder/suicide scene. To employ the tactical pause one simply breathes in slowly for the count of 10, breathe out for the count of 10, hold for the count of 4 and start over. Repeating these steps several time sends a calmness through your body.
Law enforcement officers are not the only ones who utilize the tactical pause, firefighters, military, even sports teams utilize their own versions. Trident Concepts describes the military tactical pause as “A tactical pause is just a really cool way of saying slow the hell down, take a good look at what is in front of you. There can be an overwhelming amount of stimulus in a tactical scenario so how do you sort out the important stuff?”
Does the tactical pause have a place in the civilian world or family life?
It most definitely does, however in family life the tactical pause has not been as effective. This is most likely because that family issues are not just easily forgotten or swept away by a few breaths. Family problems can be especially difficult to deal with, so to combat this I have morphed my tactical pause into what I call “Tactical Ice Cream”.
I have found over the years that it is difficult to stay mad, depressed, or even frustrated if you’re eating ice cream. Just the thought of ice cream probably makes you think of some time in your childhood when you enjoyed an ice cream cone on a super hot day, or when you fell off your bike and to calm your crying eyes mom gave you ice cream. Ice cream works, however it helps if it is smothered in hot fudge, or caramel.
Not everyone likes or can eat ice cream so in this case a different type of tactical pause could be utilized. A couple friends head out for a mile or so run to clear their heads. My neighbor spends time in his garage working on his old car or motorcycles. Gardening, fishing, and kayaking are also great examples of activities that help you clear or reset your brain. For me I will stick with the ice cream, and by the looks of the mirror I might need to go run a few hundred miles with my friends to burn off some of those extra calories.