Six seconds seems like an odd period, don't you think? We usually deal in multiples of 5, except for the six degrees of separation and friendship that are said to chain from anyone individual to any other. But I keep running into six seconds.
I think the first was the overlooked and underrated book "QR: The Quieting Reflex"(1982) by Charles Stroebel, MD. Quieting and relaxing are one aspect of many practices for health and self awareness. The books "The Inner Game of Tennis" (1974) by Timothy Gallwey and "The Relaxation Response" (1972) by Herbert Benson, MD relate the subjects of lack of physical and mental tension to the ability to see my internal states and feelings for what they are. But Stroebel emphasized that in any handy interval of just 6 seconds, waiting for a red light to change or a phone to be answered, I can practice searching out tension in my body and relaxing it away.
Then, I ran into six seconds again when reading about isometrics, squeezing my muscles just as tightly as I possibly can. Doing so strengthens the muscles I tense. I read that German researchers found that 6 seconds of the tightest possible tension was enough to increase strength.
Then, the other day, I searched "six seconds" with Google and was surprised to find quite a few results. Among them was some sort of emotional assessment that I could perform or maybe others can perform on me or for me in 6 seconds. Evidently, I can be certified or trained or tested or something for a fee of $150.
Another possible type of six seconds activity has to do with the emerging interest in "interval training". An old idea in physical training but a new one for elders is a series of bursts of high intensity "trying very hard" physically for a run or biking or swimming or some other activity for a short period. Usually more than 6 seconds, I admit, but the very peak of effort might be about that short. Repeatedly reaching maximum effort and then slacking off but not stopping can achieve high levels of fitness.
Some of the Google search results state research that book, movie and questionnaire reviewers and those holding job interviews tend make up their minds yea or nay in 6 seconds.
During the past year, I have read of people from the US, Britain and Russia who believe that slowing one's breathing rate is good for the mood, the mind and the body. If I inhale slowly for 6 seconds and exhale at the same speed, that comes out to 12 seconds for a complete breath or 5 breaths a minute which is a slow rate.
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