7 – Take a stress pause – S-T-O-P

7 - Take a stress pause – S-T-O-P

This exercise is an ideal way to create a buffer from speed and stress and to slow things down a bit. You can take a stress pause anytime you feel stuck in an old habit or routine. In English, the first four characters form the word STOP.

Stand: Slow the pace by standing in place and take two or three nice, deep belly breaths

Tune: in to your body with full presence. Feel yourself grounded and connected to the earth, just like a favourite tree. Slowly scan your body starting from the tips of the toes and moving up to the top of the head. As you move upwards, be aware of where you may be holding onto tension or negative emotions.

Observe: Change the channel by closely observing your external environment Focus on the surroundings, taking note of at least three unique or pleasant things – colours, shapes, objects, sounds or textures that you like. If you are in a familiar environment, look for even the smallest detail you may not have noticed before. Just immerse and ground yourself for a minute or two as you find something that delights or surprises you.

Possibility: Pause to reflect on the openness, spaciousness, and possibilities that lie before you. You are now free to choose a new and beneficial direction. If you had been feeling reactive or angry, you can look with fresh eyes at the variety of different choices and options before you. Who says that you could not sing, smile, call a supportive friend, take a nice walk? Stretch your mind and see how far it can go!

Reflections:

  • What was it like for you to S-T-O-P in this way? What did you notice most?
  • What kinds of new possibilities could this exercise help you to find? How could you become creative with using this practice?