We usually experience stress reactions in response to thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations. If we’re actively worried about whether we can put food on the table or get the perfect exam score, presto: the stress reaction activates. And if the bodily systems involved in stress don’t slow down and normalize, the effects can be severe. Over time, we can succumb to, among other things, high blood pressure, muscle tension, anxiety, insomnia, gastrodigestive complaints, and a suppressed immune system.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. Albert Einstein
Creating space in the day to stop, come down from the worried mind, and get back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful in mitigating the negative effects of our stress response. When we drop into the present, we’re more likely to gain perspective and see that we have the power to regulate our response to pressure.
Here’s a short practice you can weave into your day to step into that space between stimulus and response.S: Stop. Whatever you're doing, just pause momentarily. Stressing Out by Elisha Goldstein
S: Stop what you are doing.
T: Take a breath. Re-connect with your breath. The breath is an anchor to the present moment.
O: Observe. Notice what is happening. What is happening inside you, and outside of you? ...
P: Proceed. Continue doing what you were doing.