I discovered a helpful, easy to remember acronym on a Zoom mindfulness session with the warm and compassionate Mindfulness thought-leader Rhonda Magee.
She uses the acronym
STOP – where you are, right now, it may be in your day, in your mindfulness practice, use it as a pause button if you notice feelings rising, difficult emotions, stress, worry, a low mood, or even when life is feeling good – in fact I'd encourage that greatly for we may be somewhat limited on those Beach Boys stylie 'good vibrations' and so tuning into them is going to be doubly important for many of us right now. When we 'take in the good' as Rick Hanson says, we rewire our brains to cope better with difficulty.
T - take a few breaths, simply breathe; tuning into the breath in your body as it is without trying to change it
O – observe – notice what is here for you now, it may be emotions, it may be body sensations, tension, a busy racing mind, simply observe with a wide-angled lens – see if you can simply notice all that is here without judgement or conversation with yourself.
P – proceed – ideally with something positive and affirming – a cuppa, rubbing your shoulders, or what can you be grateful for in that moment?
It might even be the new earworm I'm about to gift you….STOP Hammer Time…
If it makes you smile so much the better. If it makes you grimace remember to suspend judgement and sit with the difficult 😉
Don't you just hate smart-arse mindfulness practitioners.