Surf’s Up!

There is so much to grapple with right now – the extraordinary changes and uncertainty brought about by COVID 19 and the gripping events reported in the news.  How can one make sense of all these events and experiences?  How can one navigate daily life through all this?

By Shahin Sharma

There is so much to grapple with right now – the extraordinary changes and uncertainty brought about by COVID 19 and the gripping events reported in the news.  “Unprecedented” and “Complicated” are terms that are often used to describe what currently happening.

So, how can one make sense of all these events and experiences?  How can one navigate daily life through all this?

One way is to take a short, healthy, inexpensive and, hopefully, revitalizing, break.

Here’s one technique – called STOP,  developed by  Jon Kabat-Zinn, the mindfulness teacher and the founder of the stress-reduction program known as Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

Here are the steps to STOP:

  1. Stop all activity – I often think to this as the game of “statue” that many of us played as kids.
  2. Take a breath – Breathe deeply, slowly, while paying more attention to the breath. Take a few more deep breaths.
  3. Observe – Just notice, without judgement or criticism.
  • Notice what’s happening around you. What can hear, smell, feel next to your skin.
  • Notice what’s happening inside you:
    • In your body (are you sitting or standing, any aches or pains or tension areas)
    • In your head – Notice your thoughts (but don’t get caught up in them).
    • Your emotions – Notice and name some of your emotions.
  1. Proceed – Continue with whatever you were doing or use this awareness to change course if needed.

The STOP technique enables us to create a moment in our hectic day to pause and refuel, and then to proceed with more awareness.

Make time to STOP during your day. It will only take a minute (or less)!

As Jon Kabatt-Zinn has said, “You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

 

Shahin Sharma, BA ACC

Life Coach

778-985-9445