Student Health and Wellness Services


Pausing for a moment -- whether it be to give yourself a few minutes of self-care or to take a couple of breaths before you respond in a heated conversation -- is a potent tool for preventing a stressful situation from escalating into something bigger. Pausing allows you to re-set and then continue with a clearer mind and intention. Pausing can take many forms. Here are some ideas: 

  • Silence your phone 
  • Take a 5-minute break 
  • Make tea 
  • Take a moment to reflect before responding 
  • Stretch your shoulders, neck, or legs 
  • Do a mindfulness activity (find an app or video to help) 



Before your thoughts escalate into the worst possible scenarios. Simply the act of saying “Stop!” to yourself can help break your pattern of automatic response and interrupt the Negative Stress Cycle at the onset. 

After you Stop, breathe deeply and release physical tension. This is useful in breaking the Negative Stress Cycle. Physically taking a breath can be important because at times of stress, most people hold their breath. 

Now you can focus your energy on the problem at hand and reflect on the cause of the stress. 

After you have stopped the process of responding automatically, taken a breath to divert your attention from the stress, and reflected on the stress and its cause, it is time to choose how to deal with the stress. 


The Mind and Heart Lab at CPP has webinars, guided meditations, and more to help you pause and de-stress