Acting impulsively can get the best of us sometimes, especially when we have trouble regulating emotions like anger, disappointment, and frustration. When you’re driving and see a red light, you wouldn’t usually keep going through it. When we see a yellow light, we slow down and act cautiously until green gives us the signal to go. In the same way, the Stop, Think, & Act Skill helps us to reduce impulsive actions by thinking through situations. I’ll break down this simple skill into 3 steps to help you to make better decisions.
-Imagine a stop sign or stop light in your mind.
-Pause and take a deep breath.
-Step away from the situation if needed and take a break.
-Identify how you are feeling
-Calm down your entire body and mind.
-Check out some emotion regulation and de-escalation skills in my earlier blogs to get through this difficult step.
-Identify the problem.
-Think through the different options for facing the problem.
-What is the best resolution?
-What are the consequences to your possible actions?
-Try a pros and cons list.
-Be cautious and take your time.
-Move forward with the best option.
-Go back and revise your action step as needed.
This is a simple tool for learning how to regulate your emotions, think through those hard issues, and act accordingly!