The S.T.O.P. Practice: Creating Space Around Automatic Reactions

Rhonda Magee takes us through this simple portable mindfulness practice she uses to find calm when difficult moments arise.

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  Four-Minute STOP Practice from Rhonda Magee 4:00

This “portable” mindfulness practice can support you as difficult moments arise at any point in your day. The four steps of the STOP practice can take as little as a few seconds to a few minutes to complete. Try it out and see how long you prefer doing each step.


To begin, the “S” stands simply for stop. Literally. Just stop what you’re doing, whether it is typing or rushing out the door. Give yourself a moment to come to rest, pause, and collect yourself. 


The “T” stands for take a conscious breath. Now that you’ve paused, take a deeper breath, or two, allowing yourself to feel the expansion of the belly as you breathe deeply. Notice the sensations of being here, now. As you do so, it may help to bring your attention to the sensations of your feet meeting the floor. Feel the support of the ground and of your own relaxing breath as you do so.


The “O,” stands for observe what’s arising in you, including any thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations (such as tension, butterflies, tightness in the jawline). Broaden your awareness to take…