THE PAUSE and why it is helpful
Stress, worries, fears and doubts are a natural part of being human. These things however, can lead to anxiety and that can affect our enjoyment in life.
If we can develop ways to observe ourselves an astonishing thing happens. We can look on. And when we can look on, we can get in touch with our “wise self”. We can step out of our automatic reactions or looping thoughts and pause and make different choices. We can notice we are worrying about the past or have concerns for the future or we are making judgments about the present and we can pause. And in that pause lies our freedom.
The simple act of pausing is so powerful. If there is only one thing you take away from this website take that……..PAUSE. You will be amazed at what you become aware of just by pausing and paying attention in a kind, curious way.
I hope the simple act of PAUSING helps you attain better relationships with yourself and others.
The good news is we can learn ways to help ourselves to get unstuck. We can learn to Pause.
If someone can settle us or if we can settle ourselves, we can help our parasympathetic response kick in. Our parasympathetic response however, is not so automatic although we can do things to help it.
Some of the pausing things we can do that can help us activate the parasympathetic response are:
- Deep belly breathing and making the out breath longer than the in breath. This helps activate the vagus nerve (See Stephen Porges for more information on the Polyvagal theory http://stephenporges.com
- Mindfulness – Any of the quick mindfulness techniques found in my MORE than MINDFULNESS program that can be easily taught.
- To simply become aware and notice from our ‘observer self’ stance what is going on. What happens in your body when you notice those for example those thoughts of the “dog will bite me’? Just notice that and perhaps say “these thoughts are not real, they are a memory from the past.”
- Focusing – and ‘Getting bigger than what is bothering me’. Which is also taught in the MtM program.
The real power of mindfulness and Focusing is that it allows us to pause and step out of your chain reaction. That makes it easier to respond rather than react. In this way, you can deconstruct an unhelpful pattern or habit and you can construct a new healthy habit.
We all have patterns and sometimes we can get caught.
When you notice your patterns, it is worth asking:
What is that pattern about? (Meaning making)
Do we feel not good enough, or unworthy or not loveable? (our interior experience)
Do we lash out or withdraw or get hurt? (our pattern)
What do we believe in that moment? (our belief or expectation)
What is our motivation in that moment? (reason for doing this)
What is our intention? And if helpful, what would we like our intention to be?
What are we inclined to say or do in those moments?
It can be helpful to feel it from the inside, what happens in your body? What does your heart feel like……your mind too?
Next time you find yourself in this situation, could you PAUSE and make a different choice?
What might you say or do next time?