In the midst of our hectic lives, finding moments of peace and clarity can be challenging. That’s where the S.T.O.P. practice comes in. This mindfulness micro practice is a powerful tool that can help you cultivate present-moment awareness and bring a sense of calm and clarity when you need it most. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed or need a moment to recenter, this practice can be your go-to. Let’s explore the steps:
S: Stop whatever you are doing and immerse yourself in the present moment. It’s about creating a space to step out of autopilot and be here and now.
T: Take a few deeper than-normal breaths: Inhale deeply, filling your lungs, and exhale slowly. This simple act activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and helping you anchor your attention to the present moment.
O: Observe: Bring awareness to your inner experience and the world around you without judgment. Notice body sensations, thoughts, and emotions. If you like, you can choose to name or note these experiences (learn more about “mental noting” here).
P: Proceed: You can move forward more clearly and intentionally. Proceed with what you were doing or consciously choose a different path based on what you observed in that practice.
The beauty of micro mindfulness practices like S.T.O.P. lies in their accessibility and simplicity.
You can integrate them seamlessly into your daily life, benefiting from their effects.
These practices help you develop the skill of accessing presence (i.e., noticing when you’ve become lost in thought or swept away by emotion and instead bringing yourself back to the present moment. By engaging in these brief moments of mindfulness, you can reduce stress, regulate your emotions, ground yourself, and find greater focus and clarity.
Practicing micro-mindfulness regularly has a cumulative effect on your well-being and resilience.
So, take a few moments throughout the day to engage in S.T.O.P. and experience the power of this simple practice.
Author: Jennifer Innes
Ottawa Meditation and Wellness uses AI assistive technologies to edit our written content to improve efficiency and enhance quality for our readers.