If you are new to mindfulness and looking to get a taste of practicing try this – Literally, S.T.O.P. This is something I use all the time. It is the first practice I recommend to anyone wanting to give mindfulness a try. This is like sticking your baby toe in the water and can take less than 2 minutes in total out of your day.
This simple acronym — STOP — reminds us to be mindful during the day. It stands for
- Stop: Stop, step back from whatever you’re doing
- Take a breath: Literally, bring your attention back to your breath. 3-5 full cycles if you can.
- Observe: Take stock of what’s happening right now, especially in your body and mind.
- Proceed: Into the flow of your day
Doing this simple practice several times a day begins to set up a consistent practice of coming back to the present moment. The first time I do this before ever getting out of bed in the morning. A wonderful time to practice stopping is during the transition period between activities in your day – before you enter a room, walking to the car, before eating. It is also very useful when you are feeling stressed.
So STOP and start your commitment to mindfulness and a more peaceful life.