How to Post the Stop Sign on Stress

picture of stop signWe all talk about stress and sometimes we even find ways to use it as motivation to move ahead. Other times we manage to siphon it off with yoga, tai chi, or other exercises.

But how about just STOPPING? The word caught my eye some time ago in the title of one of David Kundtz’s books, STOPPING – How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going.

Kundtz, is a bestselling author, speaker and counselor, well qualified to post the stop sign.

The minute I read the title I thought of all of the times I needed to stop but had to keep going.

Moms with toddlers and too many tasks and too few hours will understand. They often need to stop, and sit down, to de-stress and clear their heads, but infants and toddlers have their own clocks that seldom match mom’s.

Single parents who are juggling kids and careers and want the very best for their kids know of what I speak.

Busy people on the job will get it too. They may love their job, but sometimes they just need to take a moment to digest their thoughts and refocus.

Kundtz’s Answer

Kundtz says, “Stopping is doing nothing, as much as possible, for a definite period of time – whether a moment or a month – for the purpose of becoming awake and remembering who you are and what you want.”

Three Ways to Stop

Kundtz suggests “Stillpoints” that are just a few moments; “Stopovers” as longer periods of rest; and “Grinding Halts,” which become longer periods of stopping necessitated by major life changes.

I have used all three but find stillpoints help me every day. When the different facets of my life are all bent on colliding, I pause, just for a minute, and consider how fortunate I am to have these facets. Then I take a deep breath, smile, and move forward navigating the day.

If the STOPPING method of dealing with stress interests you, you might want to prowl around Kundtz’s site,

Kundtz left the ministry and entered graduate school at the age of 42, earning a doctoral degree in psychology at a school of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Following his mid-life crisis to culmination as “erstwhile priest, psychotherapist and writer” is fascinating.

Through it all he says he has “tried to be as aware as possible of what is actually going on right now, as well as in the whole arc of life, and helping others do the same.”

Here’s to STOPPING and then moving forward!

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Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of r. nial bradshaw

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