S - stop and step back. Don't act immediately.....Pause
T - take a breath. Notice your breath as you breathe in and breathe
O - observe. What am I thinking? What am I feeling in my body?
What am I focusing on? What am I reacting to? Is this fact or
P - pull back! Put in some perspective. Zoom out...see the bigger
picture. Is there another way to look at the this? What would
someone else say about it? Does it affect others? How important
is this situation right now?
P - practice what works. Consider the consequences. What's the
BEST thing to do? Is this in line with my principles and values?
Do what will help most!
Think about situations where STOPP might be useful to you. And then think about how specifically STOPP could help you in those situations. It's helpful if you can figure out what you'd like to be different in these specific situations so you can have a goal to work towards. Try practicing STOPP on some situations that are less difficult or emotionally charged to get familiar with the 5 STOPP steps. Try picking one situation a day to practice on....it's a lot easier to learn something if you start small, and practice more often! Then when you run into a difficult situation, you'll be familiar with the steps. I't's much harder to learn and put into practice a new skill or technique for the first time during a crisis. It's sort of like learning to sail a boat, or learning to ski (or think of a metaphor that works for you). You start in calm waters or on the bunny slope, and as you get more familiar and comfortable with what you are doing and gain experience, you move on to open, choppy water or steeper ski slopes. The goal is to be successful as you learn, so again, start small! Most people tend to start "big", then think they can't do it, it doesn't work, give up etc. The tendency is to blame oneself rather than realize you may have started with a situation that was very challenging to learn on.
To help you with learning STOPP, I've included links below to STOPP worksheets on Carol's website. (clck on the link to go to workshop pages) And I'm hoping to introduce some of Carol's other worksheets that I think could be useful in later blog posts.
http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/STOPP.pdf (STOPP description worksheet - complete)
http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/STOPP4.pdf (Simple version STOPP description worksheet)
http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/STOPP5.pdf (5 column STOPP thought record worksheet)
http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/STOPPworksheet.pdf (another version STOPP thought record worksheet)