My clients report back that the overall number one practice that has impacted their life was the simple S.T.O.P., so I have included this here again and added the newer W.A.I.T.
S is for stop. Just stop.
T is for take a mindful in breath and mindful outbreath.
O is for observe whatever there is to observe of the 6 senses. Using all or some of them: What am I seeing What am I hearing What am I tasting What am I smelling What am I touching (shirt, fingertips, anything) What am I thinking (the 6 sense)
P is for Proceed with your next step.
The S.T.O.P can be a game changer for slowing things down and reconnecting with what’s important in your life in this moment.
Do the S.T.O.P. practice:
- Before a meeting, leaving a meeting
- Waking up in the morning
- Before switching on your computer, answering your phone
- Before starting a meal, having a drink.
- And many many more times. I’m sure you can come up with your own.
W.A.I.T. is for the rapid fire, non-face to face communication that social media has presented us with. W.A.I.T. was developed for adolescents where the impulsivity and emotionality of the limbic system has not yet been monitored by a mature pre frontal cortex, the part that controls our judgement. So reactivity is high.
Although W.A.I.T. was developed for adolescents it can prove valuable to anyone living in this digital age.
For example, before you press SEND or post on Facebook, Instagram or wherever, ask yourself:
W - Wide audience. Would I be happy for anyone to read this - family, my 500 Facebook friends?
A - Affect. Am I in a good emotional place right now? Am I being reactive instead of response-able?
I - Intent. Might my intent be misunderstood?
T - Today, tomorrow, or the next day. Can this wait a day? If I wait might I feel differently about it later. My guess is most times we do.