I recently spoke to a group of 20 women business owners. I said, “who’s busy?” Everyone raised their hands. Not surprising, right?
There’s not much time to pause in our busy world. At work there are tasks, projects and deadlines. At home we focus on our family. There’s the rush of thoughts and feelings when something went off kilter. At times we think we should forge ahead and just get on with whatever we are doing. There’s much to think about and no time to think about it. A pause could make a difference in your stress level, in your decision making, and in your happiness. It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities (Kristin Armstrong). Here’s some ways to pause.
Maybe you haven’t thought about breathing and how it affects our brains. When we take a deep breath and let it out slowly, we are slowing down our body mechanisms and our brain. Controlled breathing “may be the most potent tool we have to prevent our brains from keeping us in a state of stress, and preventing subsequent damage caused by high stress levels.” Creating a pause physiologically helps us.
Say a prayer
A client shared with me how she recites the “Serenity Prayer” when she needs a pause. Whether it’s her kids fighting or a decision to make about work, her prayer gives her a pause and helps her focus on what’s important to you. It may be a few words or something memorized, prayer is centering and mindful.
Drink water or get a snack
It’s difficult to hydrate sufficiently. Our bodies require more water than we think about regularly. Pausing to drink water gives us a physical lift too. When we think of the benefit, add a sip of water as a pause. A protein filled snack can do the same. It’s a break to fuel.
Make a connection
Whether it’s a smile, a hug, a text or a phone call, making a connection is a pause. Connections yield self-confidence, empathy, empowerment and positivity. Keep connected during a pause with tools like your phone. A connected person is a happy person.
Talk a walk
Getting up and moving around is a physical and mental pause. Getting outside in the green space does even more to give you a pause. Taking a walk gives you time to reflect, engage, create new perspectives and go back to work ready.
Take a nap
A nap is the ultimate pause! When you are tired, your brain is stuck and you have no energy to proceed, a nap is the best way to pause. It’s my favorite way to pause!
How can you create an awareness of when to pause? Is there an emotion you recognize with anger or fear? Is it a feeling like a clenched jaw or stomach pain? Start to recognize when a pause can make what you are doing easier and more in line with your values and needs.