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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Visick

The Power of the Pause

How often do you stop and really take a pause? Not just a pause to stop what you’re doing but a pause to reflect, to allow yourself time to be, in stillness, without distraction. It is so important for our nervous system to have the chance to reset and regain balance and yet it is often something we completely overlook, continuing to push on, ignoring the feelings that arise, wondering why we are left feeling exhausted.

We are bombarded with information wherever we look and are often overwhelmed with all the outer noise of everything going on around us, the rolling news, the beeps and tones that follow us around, the constant pull of our attention away from ourselves. The over-stimulation of this outer noise can drain us of our energy, it can sometimes be a subtle seeping out of energy from the peripheral noise in our environment rather than a full-on blast of expended energy when something provokes a strong reaction in us, but whichever one it is can leave us feeling depleted if we don’t give ourselves that space to switch off and release. Allowing ourselves moments in the day to pause, to take some slow, deep breaths, in and out of the belly, to feel grounded wherever we are sitting or standing, can really help to re-centre ourselves, calm our nervous system and actually give us more clarity and energy as we move into the next task or part of our day. Getting out into nature for these moments can be particularly beneficial, even just stepping outside, breathing in fresh air, taking in the beauty of any trees or flowers you can see, feeling the wind on your skin can make such a difference to how you feel.

We can also be completely distracted by the inner noise, the self-sabotaging thoughts, the harsh inner critic who pops up when we look in the mirror, when we attempt something that doesn’t turn out the way we had hoped or when someone says or does something that triggers us. Our immediate response may be to lash out, either at the person who has triggered us, at an innocent bystander or even at ourselves. How many times have you done that only to feel immediately guilty of reacting in that way and often having made the situation far worse? Consider now if you paused in these moments, allowing yourself time to respond in a more appropriate way, to avoid those knee-jerk reactions which are usually ineffective and can lead to regret and more difficulties. Press pause, take some slow, deep breaths, notice what thoughts are speeding through your mind, simply observe them without judgment, without attachment, let them go with each outbreath, allowing your nervous system to resettle and calm down. Convince your subconscious that you are calm by repeating these affirmations, “I am calm, I am safe, I am relaxed, I release any tension with every breath.” You will find you are then in a much healthier, calmer place from which to respond, both to others and yourself, and to make better choices and decisions as you move through your day.

Feel the power of the pause and start practising today.

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