Man Thinking

How A Pause Can Save The Day

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:

  1. Breathing in the feeling of calm while practicing pause deepens our discernment capacity.
  2. Calm vibrations help us preempt our toxic reaction with conscious responses.
  3. Pause to create a space for smarter choices and less stressful outcomes.
  4. Pause and ask what your heart would say. Feel what your heart would do. Step into it.
  5. 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.
  6. Practicing pause quickly increases self-security from experiencing less mistakes, setbacks and do-overs. Self-security automatically increases our resilience.
  7. Pausing and listening to others from our heart helps to keep our friends, friendly.
  8. Pausing allows a more inclusive assessment of consequences before action – which is one of the biggest benefits from the practice.
  9. Make an intention not to keep learning the value of pause through hindsight and hard lessons. We are already good at that.
  10. 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

Morning Lake

Inner Stillness by Doc Childre

Many spiritual cultures agree inner stillness creates an energetic environment for supporting our advancing consciousness that can unleash the transformational power of our love.

That’s why, from the beginning of HeartMath, many of the tools and especially the technology have been designed to monitor and facilitate easier access to stillness and its connection to our natural inner wisdom and guidance. Forget the philosophical reference for awhile and think of inner stillness as something simple, practical and street-worthy. How many times have we told friends or children to get still inside and listen-up because we have something important to tell them?

This reveals our innate respect for the value of stillness, so why not use it the way it can count the most, to quiet our mental and emotional static so we can hear the counsel from our heart’s intuitive suggestions for better choices and outcomes.

When our mind finally lets go, inner stillness is where we land. From there we can reset and upgrade the experience of our life. The earlier we learn the value of inner stillness, the less we need to experience the more stressful ways life often nudges us into considering higher choices for personal peace and happiness. We often hear ourselves and others say, “If I had more foresight, I would have handled that situation differently.” Stillness is a primary source for increasing our foresight and creative solutions. Inner stillness is a place that our heart can speak to us without our mind running it off the road. In order to “be still, and know” we first have to be still enough to listen.

It’s a forward-moving choice to schedule times for inner stillness and allow our mind and emotions to experience a time-out from worry, anxiety and processing. Stillness requires a little practice because our mind will try to occupy that space (or any space if the door is left cracked). Know that you don’t have to be still as a rock to recharge your resilience and lift your perception.

If inner stillness didn’t produce high-value results, think of all the centuries of time that meditators and spiritually conscious people would have wasted throughout history. With refinement, inner stillness becomes like a personal elevator to our highest view and eliminates the weariness from climbing endless stairs. Practicing stillness helps us to connect with our heart’s intelligent guidance and make decisions we can feel good about. It’s an effective practical step for creating a less stressful, happier life.

Inner Stillness Heart Meditation

  1. Find a place to breathe quietly for a few minutes. (You can always find a place – close the door to your office or room, or the bathroom, or outside in a quiet area.)
  2. Focus your attention in the area of the heart and pretend your breath is flowing in and out of the heart or chest area. With each breath imagine your mind, emotions and body getting still inside.
  3. From that place of stillness, feel a caring connection with someone or a pet you are close to, or just focus on peace. Don’t look for experience just be – without exploring your mind’s inserts. This creates inner-coherence and a deeper connection with your heart’s suggestions.
  4. Gently excuse any thoughts that come up, positive or negative know that you can entertain them at another time. As thoughts come up, don’t push against them; just casually focus on breathing love and peace into the stillness for a few minutes to anchor the feeling into your cellular memory.
  5. Practicing inner stillness will help you recall the feeling more quickly when discerning important matters and directions.

Try this again later if it doesn’t work. Sometimes we give up too quickly, especially on the things that would benefit us the most.

Many people report that the inner stillness practice helps them most by releasing pent up energy from worry or frustration, as well as anxiety from hard to make decisions. We would love to hear about your experiences with practicing inner stillness. Your shared comments and insights are not only appreciated but they can also help to inspire others.