30 Second Stress Stopper

focused candle surrounded by blurry candles

Here is a quick and easy way to incorporate Mindfulness in your busy day. It’s called the Mindful S.T.O.P. Here’s how it goes:

S – Stop or Pause Slow down your breathing or movements: breathe in for 5 sec and out for 10 sec, or slowly press your fingertips and then palms together, or slowly raise your arms above your head and then slowly lower your arms against your sides.

T – Take Notice With curiosity rather than judgement notice your surroundings, where you are, your thoughts and feelings, and the sensations of what you hear, touch, taste, and smell. Just notice your sensations and presence in the outer and inner environment.

O – Observe Yourself in the Moment Make space in your mind and ask yourself what you are: thinking, feeling, doing, intending in that present moment; recognize the inner spaciousness of your consciousness and accept any thoughts or feelings that may come. Don’t struggle with your thoughts or feelings, allow them to come and go without passing judgement.

P – Proceed Mindfully In relaxed awareness, remind yourself of your values and let your values guide your next choice, movement, or interaction with yourself, another person, or a thing.

The Mindful S.T.O.P. is helpful in managing distractibility, tension or your behavior in uneasy situations. It can be as short or as long of an experience as you like. You can do it anywhere and anytime in 30 sec – e.g. waiting for a class or exam to start, sitting in traffic, waiting in line for lunch – or you can spend 30 min practicing it in formal meditation practice. Your ability to create more feelings of relaxation will increase and your skill at using S.T.O.P. will become easier the more you practice.

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