The Stillness Initiative
Step 3 - Reinvent Yourself
3 Core Mindfulness Techniques
Putting It All Together
Mindfulness is a centered, non-judging awareness of the present moment. With consistent practice, you’ll find that you are increasingly at home in your mind, body, and life in a more peaceful, clear and openhearted way. This allows for a natural connectedness with yourself and intimacy with others.
FINDING CALM WHEN DIFFICULT MOMENTS ARISE
When your whole world, and all of your digital devices are telling you to keep going, keep striving, keep thinking - this mindfulness practice can support you at any point in your day. The four steps of the STOP practice can take as little as a few seconds to a few minutes to complete. Try it out and see how long you prefer doing each step.
To begin, the “S” stands simply for stop. Literally. Just stop what you’re doing, whether it is typing or rushing out the door. Give yourself a moment to come to rest, pause, and collect yourself.
The “T” stands for take a conscious breath. Now that you’ve paused, take a deeper breath, or two, allowing yourself to feel the expansion of the belly as you breathe deeply. Notice the sensations of being here, now. As you do so, it may help to bring your attention to the sensations of your feet meeting the floor. Feel the support of the ground and of your own relaxing breath as you do so.
The “O,” stands for observe what’s arising in you, including any thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations (such as tension, butterflies, tightness in the jawline). Broaden your awareness to take in the circumstances. Notice how you can be in this situation without being ruled by it. For added support, offer self-compassion as you release tension and stressful thoughts. As you calm down, open to the choices you have in terms of how best to move forward from here.
Finally, the “P” reminds you to simply proceed with intentionality, taking the next step in your day from this place of strength, wisdom, and presence.
Master the Moment with the Four-Minute STOP Practice
The STOP practice can help whenever you’re feeling distress, creating space to observe and tame your feelings, and to access the deeper resources within you. It helps you develop the emotional intelligence and psychological flexibility required for greater mastery over the challenging moments.
There will be days when the STOP practice saves you. It is especially helpful if you need support to move through intense feelings so that you can note them and set them aside for the moment, with the intention of reflecting on them more deeply later. Afterward, you´ll find that you can get back on track with greater grounded-ness.
When we STOP, we look deeply within while allowing space to be present with other. Wse listen without becoming triggered by holding on to words tightly. We learn to be present to emotions, in ourselves and in others, without reactive judgment. With this practice, we remain close to our experience as we stay engaged. We breathe in and out of that awareness, and after completing the practice, give it some time to soak in, but later, invite reflection on the incident as a whole, which can promote even further growth.
Reactivity is part of what it means to be a human being. The question is this: How do we meet our reactivity without judgment, and with the intention of transforming it into effective responsiveness in our everyday lives?
We do it by practicing mindfulness as if our very lives depended on it, as Jon Kabat-Zinn says. Because in a very real sense, they do. The capacity to be aware but not attached to particular outcomes, to keep coming back for more, to see the wholeness in this moment, and that one, and the next, is a complete and deep mindfulness practice in and of itself.
Well Done! - Course Completed
Here´s to you remaining grounded, as best you can, long after this point in your life.
This bunch of low-dose MBSR practices are more than enough for anyone who wishes to get started with their first, highly beneficial mindfulness practice. All you have to do now is set up your own personal routine, even if it´s just for a few minutes a day,
Just turn up!