Pause…Breathe…Repair Your Universe…Proceed ~ unknown
As if the Holidays were not demanding enough, the New Year often brings with it a string of resolutions that impose even more stress to improve and work harder in order to become a better human being. This can add to the already overwhelming busyness of thoughts, self-talk, worries, fears, and frenzied activities and increase anxiety and tension in life.
What can you do about it?
Pause to restore balance…
The dictionary defines a pause as a temporary stop, or a brief suspension in action. While it implies a short moment taken within a present activity, it can also last for hours or days. No matter the length, it is a conscious, intentional action that can reset your focus, restore your energy, refresh your perspective and bring you into the present moment.
How to Create Pauses in Your Life
Taking a long, mindful inhale to refresh and put everything – absolutely everything – on pause can interject an empty space that resets balance, interrupts habitual behaviours and brings wakefulness into your life.
Here are a few ways to create those powerful moments:
- Daily practices
- Establish a daily meditation practice
- Take breathing breaks throughout the day
- Get up early and begin your day in the quiet of the morning
- Sit in stillness and listen for every sound in the place you sit
- Take a walk in nature and only pay attention to each step you take
- Eat mindfully, savour the textures and flavours of your food
- Naturally occurring moments of a ‘time out’ experience
- Take time to truly feel moments of joy, sadness, with self or others
- Listening authentically to another’s conversation without pre-planned responses
- Become aware of your worried or fearful thoughts and breathe calm into them
- Sign up for a retreat or take a vacation that disconnects from daily routines
What Can Pauses Do For You?
Taking our hands off the controls and pausing is an opportunity to clearly see the wants and fears that are driving us. ~ Tara Branch
Pauses help us in many ways:
- Taking a breath moment before lighting up a cigarette or eating that bite of cake can offer an opportunity to follow a more conscious course of action that supports well-being.
- They can open a space for new and more creative ways to manage our conditioned and unhelpful actions in life.
- They help you feel calmer, centered and grounded.
- They offer time to relax which reduces the body’s stress responses and provides greater immunity, improved sleep, lower blood pressure, and better pain management.
- In her book, Radical Acceptance, Tara Branch Ph.D. suggests that pausing is most needed in those difficult moments when we feel most out of control (rage, grief or desire) because it can open us up to a more intentional and accepting way of living.
Through the sacred art of pausing, we develop the capacity to stop hiding, to stop running away from our experience. We begin to trust in our natural intelligence, in our naturally wise heart, in our capacity to open to whatever arises. ~ Tara Branch
Reference and recommended reading: Radical Acceptance by Tara Branch Ph.D.
For more information about Breathwork, feel free to connect with John Stamoulos at www.johnstamoulos.com