S.O.B.E.R.- STOP, OBSERVE, BREATHE, EXPAND, RESPOND.
When you are under stress, do you ever act impulsively? Do you respond in ways you regret? Try the S.O.B.E.R. stress interruption tool.
The first step is to STOP whatever it is that you happen to be doing – for example if you are becoming stressed because of an argument with your spouse, you need to at least temporarily disengage from the conversation.
The next step is to OBSERVE what is happening in your body and mind – you need to observe for signs that your body is entering the ‘fight or flight’ response or that your thoughts are starting to race (these are signals that you are now starting to act on impulse rather than rational thought).
The next thing you need to do is to BREATHE because this is going to slow down your thinking and move your body out of the state of high alertness.
You next need to EXPAND your awareness so you can look at the situation in a more objective way (i.e. see the bigger picture).
Now that you are in the right state of mind, you will be able to RESPOND mindfully.
You may find it useful to practice the S.O.B.E.R technique at random times throughout the day when not stressed. With regular practice, it will become more like second nature and therefore more helpful in stressful times. If this tip helps and you’d like to explore more tools, contact Therapy Matters. We can help you navigate life and help you on your journey! Your mental health matters and so do you!
Debi Anson LMSW CAADC