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How often do you hit pause during the average day? Once? Twice? Never? There are lots of great reasons for doing this, as I discovered when I started doing it. If you need convincing, I’ve lined up some of the best reasons for indulging in the occasional pause during your day.
1. TO SLOW DOWN
You’ll like this one if you always try to achieve as much as possible in as little time as possible. Taking a moment to step back and slow down whatever you are doing can alert you to whether you’re doing the right things. Not everything is necessary, am I right?
2. TO DE-STRESS
If you’re feeling stressed, consciously take a moment to pause. Stress affects your mind, body, and emotions, and hitting pause allows you to picture the stress leaving every fibre of your being. And if you’re about to do something you find stressful, pause and calm yourself before you begin.
3. TO APPRECIATE THE MOMENT
How often do you simply appreciate the moment you are in? It doesn’t matter whether you’re in your office, in the bath, folding washing… whatever it is, immerse yourself in that moment. Stop and smell the roses, as they say!
4. TO REFOCUS
This is a good pause to hit when you are at work and feeling overwhelmed. What shall I do first? Should I handle the invoices? Maybe I should do something quick and easy to start with. Oh, what about those phone calls?? Hitting pause in this scenario means you can refocus your attention on what matters most.
5. TO RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES
You may not feel fully rested and refreshed by hitting pause just for a few moments, but it will help. I try to take a moment out for myself several times a day if I can. I use it as a check-in to see how I’m feeling. (Best accompanied by a nice mug of green tea, I find.)
6. TO CALM DOWN
Are you feeling harassed? Angry? Frustrated? None of these are good for your stress levels, or for your peace of mind. Try and hit pause whenever you’re hit by negative feelings like these, to enable you to calm your mind and body. It can help prevent those feelings from escalating to start with.
7. TO BE MINDFUL
Mindfulness takes time to learn, but pressing pause a few times throughout your day is a good way to begin. Stop every now and then and take a few seconds to process where you are, what is happening around you, and the feelings and sensations you feel in your body and mind.
Top Tip: I like to think of this as a way of anchoring yourself to the world around you in that precise moment. If you’re a worrier, someone who lets their mind drift ahead to what may or may not be, this is a great technique to hit pause for. Even if you never use that pause button for anything else, this is well worth doing.
8. TO BREATHE DEEPLY
How often do you take a really deep breath? Inhale as deeply as you can through your nose, and exhale (for longer if you can) through your mouth. No one else needs to know you’re doing this if you do it correctly. Try four or five breaths, being conscious of every moment.
You’ll be amazed how easily it focuses you. In fact, this is probably one of the easiest and most beneficial pauses to try.
9. TO RELAX YOUR BODY
Tense shoulders, aching neck, headaches… tension can be felt in all manner of ways in the body. I tend to get headaches if I allow tension and stress to get the better of me. The best way I’ve found to stop this from happening is to sit in a comfy chair and to relax every part of my body, from the top of my head down to my toes. Taking a few moments out to do this helps me get on with my day much more easily.
10. TO IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES
Are you doing what you should be doing? Or have you strayed from your plans for the day? It’s easy to get off track, but that leads to stress and frustration further down the line. Start each day with priorities, and stop every now and then to see whether you’re on course to achieve them. You won’t always manage this, but you will ensure you don’t get distracted and end up doing other things instead.
Some of the above reasons to pause your day will likely ring true more than others. Different people need different things. So, by identifying what speaks most to you, you can pause for the right reasons – the reasons that will be most beneficial to you.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.