What makes pausing so powerful? What is the difference between pausing, and moving through our days without a moment for reflection? How can taking that time out transform the way you attend to our everyday tasks?
Our cognitive minds often need some help in delaying old patterns. This is where the power of pause comes in. It is crucial to take a moment and notice how our bodies interact with any situation, asking ourselves, “What is my sense of this? What is happening?” By pausing, we can create space for new possibilities.
By creating this space between the stimulus and reaction, we can assess the situation and see it for what it is, and not let our past experiences and our future expectations influence our responses. We can even transform social contexts and cultural stories by asking ourselves: Where does this belief of mine come from?
Cultivating our ability to pause can help us develop a natural way of attending, sensing, listening and living authentically with ourselves and in our relationships. By pausing the routine, the habitual response, we are able to form a sense of an entire situation, not just behave from within the expected pattern.
As we are conditioned to listen to our thoughts more than listen to our intuition, most of us find it difficult to understand what “felt sense” in the body means. An easy way of getting in tune with our bodies is by asking the right questions. Next time, instead of “What do I think of this situation?” try asking the following: “What is this situation doing to me? How is it making me feel in my body? Is my chest tight? Does my stomach ache? Do I feel lightheaded?”
How does this look when it comes to our emotional wellbeing? We often use unhelpful coping mechanisms to soothe ourselves or to distract from difficult emotions. When you reach for the biscuits, or the wine, or the screen when you feel pain, wait a moment.
Create a small moment of space and time (even 10 seconds can make a huge difference) and check what’s going on inside you. If it doesn’t feel too awkward, you can also express with some words what’s your sense of what is going on.
By pausing, we can check inside, connect with your felt sense, and become able to express our inner experience of the situation.