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  • Kate Hubert

STOP

While I have several tools for bringing my wandering mind back to the present moment and nipping any rising panic or anxiety in the bud, STOP is my first choice.


S – Stop!


T - Take a breath


O - Observe and name 6 things around you


P - Proceed


STOP is effective and it’s easy to remember.


When I’m driving, I use traffic lights, or a stop sign, as a reminder to STOP and be present.

I take a breath, notice 6 things and proceed.


A stop light or sign is an obvious reminder; however, you can use whatever works for you, every time you have a glass of water, a cup of tea or wash your hands.


The more I practice the easier it becomes.


I use STOP when:


· I start to feel overwhelmed, stressed or rushed


· I’m overthinking


· I need to slow down


Doing this, naming 6 things that I can see or feel, reengages the frontal cortex and moves my focus away from the flight/flight response.


I also use STOP in my formal seated meditation practice.


When my mind is very turbulent with thoughts that suck me in like quicksand, I close my eyes, focus on my breath and name 6 things I can feel, hear and smell around me. I might do this 3 or 4 times and that is my formal practice.


This is an excellent way to sit quietly for 5 or 10 minutes and just be present.


It’s easy and simple to do, I can anywhere, anytime and no one even knows that I’m doing it.

Image courtesy Nick Fewings - Unsplash

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