Cowritten by Drs. Yvonne and Scott Rheinschmidt, PhD, LPC
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” – (Dt:2-3)
Do you find yourself having a hard time responding to the challenges, heartbreaks, and sufferings that you are living in? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you emotionally stressed out? Well, STOP it (Sorry, we don’t mean to yell at you in capital letters). Ok, that is easier said than done. So today the question is how do we stop stressing? What is the training procedure to stop stressing?
Whatever you are struggling with either stress, anxiety, depression or even a heartbreak, a simple road map would be helpful while walking through uncertainty, through pain. Dr. Elisha Goldstein (2013) stated that “creating space in the day to stop, come down from the worried mind, and get back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful in mitigating the negative effects of our stress response. When we drop into the present, we’re more likely to gain perspective and see that we have the power to regulate our response to pressure”.
Goldstein created a short practice, a training procedure that can be weaved into our daily lives to manage our stress and create a space between the stimulus and response.
S = STOPE what you’re doing; put things down for a minute.
T = TAKE a few deep breaths.
O = OBSERVE your experience just as it is including thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You can reflect about what is on your mind and also notice that thoughts are not facts, and they are not permanent. Then notice your body. Are you standing or sitting? How is your posture? Any aches or pains?
P = PROCEED with something that will support you in the moment: talk to a friend, rub your shoulders, have a cup of tea.
Coordinate your breathing with these simple steps. It is amazing to feel with a correct breath coordination, we can relax more deeply. Consequently, this breath coordination allows us to bring our mind to more sagacious state