The power of the pause
“The road to success includes regular pauses for recovery, reflection and reset.”
I just returned from a New Year’s weekend retreat that provided me with a chance to pause, reflect and reset ready for the year ahead. If you are a long-time reader of my greeting, you have probably worked out by now that I do a lot of reading, self-reflection, and mindfulness as this helps me manage a busy life and still retain a sense of well-being and (mostly!) good humour.
So given this regular practice, it was a surprise to me just how refreshing and welcome the retreat was! It reminded me of the power of the pause, not just at the start of the year, but in our daily routine.
We should pause.
When angry: Angry words, especially those that flow like molten lava from an erupting volcano are not good. It’s useful to get into the habit of a mental pause before speaking and using a ‘let’s sit on this ‘til morning’ strategy for such emails is a good thing.
When training: Runners, weightlifters and athletes know that rest days are as important as training days. The body needs to pause and rest to grow stronger.
When spending money: A pause when shopping helps calm the urge to splurge on purchases we don’t need. This is especially important when shopping is made so easy with credit cards, when salespeople are trained to psyche you into a purchase and if you are shopping when feel down or depressed.
When tempted to break your diet: It’s possible to counteract the rush of craving for a beer, glass of wine, slap chips or whatever you know you should not eat by drinking a glass of water. Try it, it works!
When anxious: Anxiety and fear reduce our thinking power. Pausing to calm the soul using breathing exercises or mindfulness returns our energy to the centre and helps us to regain our balance.
When working hard: It’s important to pause and reset our energy on a regular basis by building into our calendars rest time away from work. This is a chance to see things afresh and allow innovative ideas to drop in.