Practice the Pause

Practice the Pause

My life is busy and I struggle to balance work and home. My business and my creative life take lots of time too. Then when you mix in the grand kids and Pippa the cat, well, there you go.

One of my areas of greatest struggle is Practicing the Pause.

What this means is to take a moment to breathe before you begin your day. Breathe when you finish one project and before heading into another. Take a moment to savor the wind on your face for that brief moment.

I have a tendency to go from task to task, work to home, family time to my side hustle before I stop and think. From when I wake up until I go to sleep, it is hurry, hurry. I would like to stop that.

But there is another side to practice the pause.

The Emotional Component of the Pause

What do I mean by the emotional component?

We’ve all been there. One moment you are quite calm and someone says something that triggers something that causes a reaction, either internally or externally.

It’s like going from 1 to 60 in 1.2 seconds.

Your entire being is calm and content then, BAM, all of your emotions are out of control and you are raging against the injustice.

The problem, at least for me, the injustice happened years ago, yet certain things can trigger me in an instant.

It is in these moments where I would like to remember to practice the pause.

How Do I Practice the Pause?

Good question.

It starts with remembering to take a breath. Chances are the person or situation isn’t there to trigger you. Chances are they are simply attempting to go about their lives and happen to connect with you. Stopping to take a breath before you unleash the monster of emotions within you is incredibly important.

Taking a breath before you speak or react can keep you from saying or doing things that you will regret later.

Yes, you will regret quitting your job in the heat of the moment.

Another thing that is incredibly helpful is to use the pause in ordinary moments. There are few actual situations that require you to react instantly. Even when there is blood, taking a moment to assess whether you need to panic and call for an ambulance or will it simply take a bandage.

Practicing before you need it will help improve the odds that you will succeed in those moments where your emotions threaten to go out of control.

Finally, (though probably not the last thing you can do) you can actually look at those things that cause you to trigger. This may require counseling and actually feeling your feelings but it can be helpful.

Journaling can help as you are attempting to work through your triggers, most likely caused by painful memories. Journaling is one of those things that doesn’t cost a lot and doesn’t have to be weird. I generally carry some kind of paper and pen with me at all times. Not to mention, I have an app (Hanx Writer) that will allow me to put my thoughts onto paper when necessary. It has come in handy more than once.

I do have to say I am getting better at practicing the pause and reducing my triggers. Perfection isn’t the goal here but living a functional life where emotions don’t tear down all that you’ve built up.

The biggest point of practicing the pause is to help you gain some kind of control over your emotions and other people’s opinions. If you are constantly being triggered, how can you live your best and most creative life? The life you are proud of and enjoy living.

I would love to hear from you all about how you practice the pause. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

And, while you are here, you can sign up for a 30-days of Journaling Prompts. It’s a PDF file that comes straight to you when you leave your name and email.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Until next time,

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