STOP, LOOK, & LISTEN!
The last time we spoke about the various areas of wellness and impact our overall health and well-being. In my practice, much of the work that I do with people is in self-regulation and relaxation, so up until now, this has been our focus here too. We also mentioned that self-regulation and relaxation are not only dependent on relaxation techniques. They also are positively or adversely affected by all the other areas of wellness. For instance, in “Wellness is a Many Splendored Thing,” (CLICK HERE to read again) I mentioned how eating the wrong food early in the day could bring on a hypoglycemic reaction causing jitteriness, impatience, and irritability. Additionally, a lack of sleep can result in such things. There’s a cute acronym that explains this phenomenon – H.A.L.T. Halt means “stop,” but the acronym stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Sometimes we are not in our ideal state and accidentally react to people or situations in ways that are less than optimal. If we would take care of our needs before the onslaught of a frustrating or overwhelming situation, we might be able to respond in a better way. I called that ability to respond responsibly, “responsAbility. I misspell the word intentionally because of that. Because, when we are “Response Able,” we can respond in a better way.
I briefly mentioned a technique I developed for my clients that I call, “Stop, Look, and Listen.” This is almost like a “meditation in the moment.” Even if we have not eaten or slept well, or we wake up on the “wrong side of the bed,” we still need to to catch ourselves so that we don’t react poorly. Even if other areas of wellness have not been taken care of, we can quickly and effectively use the “Stop, Look, and Listen” method which only takes a moment.
STOP – LOOK – LISTEN
This activity can be done intermittently throughout the day. It only takes a moment to do, and you can “pull yourself together” very quickly, especially in the moment when needed. First practice it when you don’t need it, so it will be easier to do, and an available tool when you do need it in the moment.
How to do it…???
There are three methods to begin your “STOP.” 1) Set a periodic alarm in your phone at intervals (say, 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 9 p.m., OR, 2) Catch yourself at random times, OR, 3) As you become more self-aware and mindfully present, interrupt yourself in the moment.
STOP – Stop everything you are doing when the alarm or chosen time arrives.
LOOK – Look ‘inside’ yourself to see what the ‘climate and landscape’ are like. Are there any storms? Is the weather inside calm? Are there any physiological sensations that need to be attended to? Are you hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.)?
LISTEN – Listen to what your body or feelings are telling you now. Follow the body’s wise instructions. What does it need to do right now? Do you need to get a drink, take a break, ground yourself, or do a breathing or relaxation exercise? DO IT!
CLICK HERE to enjoy this meme to help remind you of the technique. It’s quick, easy, and practical 🙂
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Other free downloadable resources can be found HERE.
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