How often do we just sit back, breathe in, and take in our surroundings, completely freeing ourselves of every other worry we may have? If you are like most Americans, the answer is probably rarely, if not never. The trials and tribulations that life constantly throws our way often keep us in a constant state of “ready, go, set.” Rarely, if ever do we embrace the opportunity to step back and simply be in the moment, or pause.
A pause is defined as exactly what you think it is, a temporary stop in action or speech. According to Jane Taylor, Owner/Director of Habits for Well-being, a pause can allow you to recharge your energy, gain access to your inner wisdom, and feel connected, nurtured and cared for. There are many reasons why we could all use a pause every now and then, but here are just a few suggestions of pauses you may need in your life:
The Gratitude Pause: “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle. Have you ever noticed how you feel when you stop and truly take a moment to feel grateful for your life and the wonderful things in it? There are a number of ways you can pause to be grateful. An example of just a few are creating a gratitude jar, keeping a journal of 5 things you are grateful for each day, and letting someone in your life know how they have helped you at some point in your life. You could write a letter, send them a card or even just make a phone call.
The Mindfulness or Paying Attention Pause: The mindfulness or paying attention pause can be used in many situations. This pause has been found to be most useful when we gets caught up doing lots of things. When we are this overwhelmed, taking the time to pause and breath brings us back to the space of being and calms us down.
The Journal Pause: While we may think that simply keeping a gratitude journal will be sufficient, taking time out to reflect and keep a life journal is a great way to access your inner wisdom. In your journal, you may choose to write or draw – it’s totally up to you. You can write down your thoughts or reflect on a specific situation that is happening at the moment or that you may have encountered that day. As you start to practice the journal pause, you may begin to take note of how you are feeling at the start of your journaling session and then how you feel at the end. This can in turn put us much more in tune with our feelings and make us more present. Therefore, this can be a great habit to take up simply for wellbeing.
The Taking-a-Breath Pause: The taking-a-breath is great for when you are feeling rushed or pressed for time. Just stop, and take three conscious breaths, counting slowly to three each time. The taking-a-breath pause helps you get out of your head and back in to your body. It relaxes your mind and body, allowing you to refocus your energy where you need it most.
The People-Pleasing Pause: Are you trying to break the habit of saying YES to everyone? If so, you may like this pause! Before you say yes when someone asks you to do something, just check-in with yourself to see if you are going to say yes out of obligation or because you really want to do it? Remember, sometimes saying yes to others, means saying no to yourself!
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly-timed pause.” – Mark Twain