STOP Emotional Stress

You can make positive choices to stop emotional stress:⁠
Remember this acronym ‘S.T.O.P’ when feeling the stress building..⁠

S – Silence. Don’t say anything if you don’t have to. Easier said than done but our words program our actions so don’t speak, especially if you want to say something that adds stress. Don’t speak. If you can, go somewhere quiet, maybe to do some of the next suggestions. ⁠

T – Take a step back. Re-wind. How did you get here? Honestly, could you have been better prepared? Was this situation completely unpredictable or could you have said or done something differently to avoid it? You can even ask these questions out loud to hear other people’s thoughts. The honest answers to these questions need to be cemented into your brain. Write them down, or repeat them to yourself. Then we can proactively avoid stress.⁠

O – Observe others. What are the people around you doing while you feel the situation getting stressful? If another person is directly involved, look at their posture, their eyes. Do you want to make matters worse for this person or others around you? Intentional awareness of others helps us adjust our perspective to challenging situations. ⁠

P – Practice, especially when you are not in a challenging situation. When all is calm practice silence. Practice stepping back and asking if you are being proactive. Practice looking at others and thinking about what their body language is saying. Each practice makes it easier for you to automate your positive response. ⁠

Note: These are general suggestions and are not meant to replace or negate professional help.⁠

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