From time to time, we all need to take pause, a brief stillness, a moment to review “…our initial reaction so we can move to the place where a calm, thoughtful response is born.” – L.R. Knost
Through hindsight, we often realize how much stress we could have prevented by pausing to reconsider our choices before taking action. Many of us have learned this lesson many times over: for example, sometimes our heart nudges us to take a pause before releasing an angered response to an e-mail and we don’t listen. We mechanically press send and often second-guess ourselves the minute we click the mouse.
Then we become compressed, foreseeing the predictable stress we’ll experience from the backlash, and we are usually right – sometimes its days before all is well in the building. Pausing to review our feelings could have prevented this energy depleting scenario. There are myriad situations where we sacrifice our wellbeing because we allow hurry to jam our intuitive nudges to pause before sensitive engagement.
Practicing Pause and Calm
Pausing to feel our heart’s suggestions can deter many energy-draining standoffs with others, often with people we care about the most. We can proactively avoid these repeating, uncomfortable situations and regrets. Practicing pause and calm is increasing in popularity as a respected self-care practice, especially in these sped-up times of change, uncertainty and pressurized choices.
Many of us learned the value of pause from parents and passed it on as wisdom to our children. However, as life’s demanding pace keeps increasing, the memory to pause often fades when we are under pressure for speedy choices and actions. Speed may quicken action but pausing to review can make the effective difference in where our actions land us.
This writing is not to reinvent the intelligence of pause and review; it’s to hopefully inspire a renewed connection, if needed, with this effective habit of preemptive wisdom through these chaotic, yet adventuresome times.
Suggestions Regarding Pause:
- Breathing in the feeling of calm while practicing pause deepens our discernment capacity.
- Calm vibrations help us preempt our toxic reaction with conscious responses.
- Pause to create a space for smarter choices and less stressful outcomes.
- Pause and ask what your heart would say. Feel what your heart would do. Step into it.
- To increase your memory to pause at times, make it a big issue for a week, even if you overdo it. This will entrain your intuition to alert you when pausing would be effective.
- Practicing pause quickly increases self-security from experiencing less mistakes, setbacks and do-overs. Self-security automatically increases our resilience.
- Pausing and listening to others from our heart helps to keep our friends, friendly.
- Pausing allows a more inclusive assessment of consequences before action – which is one of the biggest benefits from the practice.
- Make an intention not to keep learning the value of pause through hindsight and hard lessons. We are already good at that.
- Use pause and calm as a door opener for your higher reasoning capacity. That’s why we tell our children to use pause.
What Jams Your Inner Signal?
Hurry is one of the most popular reasons we miss our inner signals to pause when needed. Much stress is prevented by pausing at times to adjust our operational pace to the speed of flow. When we speed past flow – mentally, emotionally or physically – we become vulnerable to dilution of efficiency in our outcomes. Picture how trying to thread a needle too fast jams the process, creating many do-overs until we manifest the speed of flow that matches our level of skill and experience. When our mental and emotional energies jam from anxiety, frustration or overwhelm, it’s effective to pause and ask our heart’s intuition what attitude or perception would create the most flow for restoring inner balance and clear direction.
“To pause before responding to important matters and choices gives us one more chance to be in-charge, rather than be in-trouble.”- Doc Childre
We hope this article helps you remember to refresh yourself with the value and many benefits of this tool, if needed.
Written by Doc Childre, HeartMath Founder, and Del Walker, HeartMath Institute Membership Director