STOP -An Easy Mindfulness Technique That You Can Use Anywhere, Anytime

Kate Hubert shares a simple technique to assist with mindfulness.

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 STOP anywhere, anytime and no one even knows that I’m doing it.

Kate Huber is a mindfulness meditation teacher with a special interest inmindful stress management, holistic therapies and self-empowerment. Since completing her International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA, 460hrs) Diploma in 2005, Kate has taught a number of yoga and meditation classes. Kate has SkilfullMIND Meditation Leader Certification, has completed The Power of Awareness  training course with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield and has Reiki Level 1 & 2 training.

You can find out more about Kate and her services here

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