How many of us feel like we're living life on autopilot? We feel like we are rushing through one thing just to get to the next, whether it be taking a shower, eating lunch, or calling home to catch up. As we go through this thing called life, are we actually taking the time to be intentional about our thoughts and actions?
The Stop, Drop, & Roll to the good life is a three part journey to living your optimal life and making the most of your experiences. Here's how it works.
Stop refers to taking time out of our days to notice the little things. What do we choose to pay attention to in our days? Is there a way to slow down our experiences and get the most out of them? Slow down, and enjoy the small, simple pleasures of your day.
Drop sheds light on a new field called positive psychology, where the focus shifts from what goes wrong in life to what goes right. Here, we drop negative thoughts and welcome positive ones, ultimately focusing on our strengths and striving to optimize relationships with ourselves and with others.
Roll touches on the importance of rolling with the punches that are inevitably thrown at us, calling for a mindset that invites challenge and recognizes them as opportunities for growth through a sense of realistic optimism.
These might seem like big, broad concepts, but here are a few ways you can 'Stop' in your everyday life.
Doing it for the Insta?
There is no doubt that we are in a culture today that is incredibly fast paced and characterized by immediacy and quick fixes. It makes sense that we fall into routine and go about our daily lives in order to fit the most into our days, but do we ever stop to enjoy what it is we are doing?
Let’s be honest. How many of us go through an experience, merely waiting for the perfect moment to capture with our phones and post for the world to validate through the push of the “like” button. I’ve been guilty of this myself, but I realized that I’m hiding behind my phone more than I am being fully present in the moment, therefore I'm completely unaware of what is actually going on around me. The saying, “I did it for the Insta,” has become far too real for many of us. Instead, the challenge becomes learning how to be fully engaged and savor our experiences. Put down the iPhone, and pick up the habit of being fully present.
Stop & Savor
According to a study conducted by Bryant and Veroff (2007), savoring is defined as the “process by which people bring about, appreciate and enhance positive experience” through processes such as mindfulness and attentive awareness. In this way, savoring involves awareness of the here and now, freedom from social and esteem needs, and focused attention to the positive feelings that arise from our experiences.
The first and simplest step towards savoring experience is to avoid multitasking. It is only by being fully present in the moment that we can allow ourselves to become absorbed in the experience and direct 100% of our attention to what we are doing. Similarly, we have to stop ourselves from thinking about what we have to do next. It is this very thought that diverts our attention from the here and now to the future. If we could recognize the fleetingness of our experiences, we would try to hold onto them as long as possible and appreciate them as they are happening.
Your Daily Challenge
Choose an activity that you do regularly but don’t particularly pay much attention to. For example, the next time you drink a cup of coffee, do it as if it were the first time. Allow yourself to be fully absorbed in the experience of drinking your coffee, paying attention to all your senses. What do you notice? How does it taste, what does it smell like, what shade of brown is it?
As you go through the experience, think of how would you describe it to someone who has never had a cup of coffee before. Ultimately, with such savoring practices, we can become more aware of our environments, intentional in our actions, aware of our thoughts, and thankful for the experiences that shape our days.
Now that you have a few ways to 'Stop' for a good life, stay tuned for suggestions on how to 'Drop' and 'Roll' your way to a full life.