The Power of Being Still in Times of Stress

A friend of mine recently wrote a post about how she missed being able to wander aimlessly in a museum this year. We’ve lost a lot in 2020, including the ability to be carefree and aimless. I find myself rushing even more this year, worrying about masks and safety even while doing the simplest things. It seems that frivolity and the carefree life are out of reach, but there is a way to channel it, even in the midst of upheaval. There is power in being still.

Once you make an appointment with yourself to simply be, you shift your focus from doing to being, and your life changes for the better– Bryan Robinson, PhD

When was the last time you stopped to take in your surroundings, to engage your sense, and fully sit in the present? When was the last time you allowed yourself to revel in the power of being still?

Read on for an exercise in mindfulness and being still in times of stress.

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S-T-O-P and be still

A good acronym to remember in times of stress is the word STOP. STOP was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, and it stands for:

S–Stop and be still for a moment

T–Take a deep breath, in and out.

O–Observe your body and emotions. Observe the world around you and acknowledge what is happening.

P–Proceed. After you have checked in with yourself and your surroundings, you’ll have more resilience and stamina to move forward with your day.

The greatest weapon against our stress is our ability to choose one thought over another–William James.

Use the STOP technique any time you feel rushed, anxious, or out of touch with the present moment. Bringing yourself into awareness is a good technique for “in the moment” stress management, and is perfect for the 2020 holiday season. To learn more about managing stress, including exercises you can do when you feel anxious or frazzled, enroll in my self-paced coaching program. It’s $30, and I’ll be there every step of the way. 

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