Tips from CAPS: The S.T.O.P. Method

by Isadora Baughman, CAPS internstop sign in field

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing topics such as anxiety, mindfulness and breathing techniques. A quick and easy mindfulness technique is the S.T.O.P. Method. I learned this technique from my supervisor in my practicum training.

S.T.O.P. Method

The S.T.O.P. Method appears to have been developed by Jon Kabat Zinn, a mindfulness instructor. Each letter in the S.T.O.P. acronym stands for an action step.


Stop whatever you are doing when it is safe to do so. For example, you may not be able to stop what you are doing when driving a car, but in other situations or moments throughout your day, hit pause on what you are doing.


Take a deep breath (or a couple) — really fill your lungs with air and then breathe out.


Observe what is happening in your body, any thoughts that pop up, or what is happening around you in your surroundings. For example, you may observe internally your shoulders feel tense, anxious thoughts about what is going to happen in the future, the sound of birds chirping out your window, or all three.


Proceed mindfully focusing on one task. Maybe that is going back to the homework assignment you were working on, listening to a friend or simply drinking a glass of water.student taking study break

You can do this method multiple times a day whenever it is needed — even when you are not feeling overwhelmed. There may be different versions or explanations of this technique out there, but hopefully this tip can assist you with practicing connection with yourself and the present moment.

CAPS is here for you

WSU Applebaum offers dedicated Counseling and Psychological Services support to students on a group or individual basis. If you are interested in participating in CAPS services that can help, call 313-577-3243 or send an email. If you are struggling after 5 p.m. or during a weekend, holiday or university closure, call the CAPS Afterhours Program at 313-577-CAPS.

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The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels — from undergraduates to veteran faculty members — translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

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