In our busy culture, we need stillness like never before. Many of us are constantly on the go, surrounded by stimulus and activity. Taking mindful pauses throughout the day is a wonderful way to rebalance our minds and bodies.
Deliberately pressing pause allows us to withdraw from external demands and recalibrate internally. It’s a moment to get to know our inner space and check in with our thoughts, feelings and emotions.
These small pockets of restoration are a great way to equilibrate. Pauses give our nervous systems space to process, meaning that stresses and strains don’t accumulate. This helps us to stabilise and to avoid overwhelm. It also enables us to make smarter decisions. By slowing down and finding centre before we move on to the next activity or respond to something, we are clearer and more aware of how we act.
Pauses also give us space to focus on relaxation through calming meditative practices. This helps us to return to the outer world feeling refreshed and renewed.
Pauses don’t need to be long to be effective. Even just a few moments can make a huge difference.
A helpful guideline is to create pauses around natural transitions within your day, such as before and after activities, meals, meetings and tasks, on rising and before bed. In this way, pauses become a natural part of your daily routine.
The following practice is a great way to mindfully pause:
1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position.
2. Feel the points of contact between your body and the ground.
3. Focus on the breath and allow it to become slower and deeper.
4. Pay attention to any physical sensations inside your body.
5. Observe any thoughts, feelings or emotions that are arising.
6. Tune into what you need. Perhaps it is relaxing with breath work, releasing tension through movement, clearing the mind with meditation, or processing thoughts or feelings. Take time to do what feels right for you.
7. Once you’ve completed your practice, notice how you feel. Try to bring this awareness with you into the next part of your day.