Feelings of stress are often reflected by increased muscular tension e.g. in the face, shoulders, hands. By deliberately relaxing muscles, it is possible to halt and reverse this process of increasing tension and stress. The STOP! Technique is a quick and effective way of doing so. Its aim is not to achieve complete relaxation, but to reduce unhelpful tension to a manageable level. The technique takes less than a minute and can usually be done without other people noticing.
Adapted from Madders, J (1988) Stress and Relaxation, Self Help Techniques, London: Macdonald Optima