Need to take a break before proceeding with your day? Take one. Breaks have been proven to help concentration and energy levels throughout the day and support the brain’s recuperation from fatigue. The S.T.O.P. technique manages stress levels, rebalances the body and mind, and sets the stage for a healthier lifestyle and response.
S: STOP what you are doing and check in with your body, thoughts and feelings. Notice your posture, locate tension in the body, and pay attention to thought patterns. Are there any emotions that bubble up?
T: TAKE A BREATH. While you’re pausing, take a few breaths. If you find it hard to slow your thoughts, focus on the “in” and “out” of your breath. As a guideline, five to six breaths usually take one minute of time.
O: OBSERVE your response. What are the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing? Identifying what is present can have a calming effect on your body and brain.
P: PROCEED. When you respond thoughtfully instead of reacting you are more likely to have a calmer, more well-rounded outcome supporting yourself and others.
When you return to the task at hand, you may notice that you feel more relaxed and refreshed. So S.T.O.P. and take a break, for yourself, and others in your life.