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The Power of the Pause

Mini-shifts are impactful wellness and brain changers that increase feelings of empowerment, presence and productivity in your day. Over the past 20 years, I have watched people transform their lives when health scares and tragedies occur – but there’s no need to wait for these tipping points to force you to change. My transformational life coaching clients have made the choice to be proactive and implement this one simple mini-shift, the “Power of the Pause.”

Time, YOUR time is valuable. When time feels as if it is flying, how do we “slow it down”? This is where the “Power of the Pause” becomes impactful.

A “pause” allows for more conscious choice, control and a feeling of expansiveness with having more productive time. I love the idea of being “Time Rich.” After all, your bank account does not replenish itself each day, but we are given a new set of 24 hours. How do you want to spend your 1,440 minutes? With this perspective in mind, you can gain a lot from simple three to five second pauses throughout your day.

Here are seven reasons why incorporating the “Power of the Pause” is worth your time and energy:

  1. Decrease mistakes. It has been shown that pausing for three to five seconds will decrease the number of mistakes made in the healthcare setting. This is a matter of life and death in the hospital, but it also affects time and money spent at home or at the office. When we rush or deal with constant interruptions and distractions, we will need to double check our work (more time required) or it may end in embarrassment. How many of us have pressed send on an email too soon or sent a text message to the wrong person? I don’t think I am the only one! A strategic “pause” means less mistakes and improves your daily productivity.
  2. Increase awareness. A pause allows you to check-in to determine if your body or brain need anything (rest, a drink, movement, etc.). After working for an hour, you may need to change your position or may notice that you are tense. Take five seconds to shift and breathe. It can also increase your awareness of any stress or feelings that aren’t supporting you. This is the time to acknowledge and let go of the internal distractions with breathwork, a mantra or prayer.
  3. Improve communication. In conversations and meetings, a pause can be very powerful in terms of really listening and being present with another person without feeling the need to fill the space, talk over the other person or interrupt. It can also keep us from saying something that we might regret. A pause helps with impulse control and lessens blurting, shaming and blaming. We have all had moments where we want to say something hurtful, defend ourselves or just tell someone to stop talking! Speaking without thinking can result in embarrassment, more anger and self-judgment. You may have noticed that speakers and performers will use the “Power of the Pause” for emphasis and to facilitate concise and purposeful messages.
  4. Improve decision-making. The pause can also stop you from making “snap” decisions on autopilot and give you time to determine what is a real priority. It also allows for more creativity with identifying multiple solutions for problems that pop up during the day at work or at home. Sometimes, the very first solution that occurs to us is not the most efficient or best in the long run. Pausing for even a few seconds will allow the brain to run through your options.
  5. Support positive habit changes. The “pause” can provide just enough space to stop you from acting reflexively or out of old programming in order to rewire the brain. It provides enough time to review your intentions and goals. For example, if you wanted to eat healthier. A “pause” can be enough to stop you from eating the rest of the food on your child’s plate or keep you from nibbling on the leftover food sitting in front of you in a restaurant (that you didn’t want because you were already full).
  6. Decrease unnecessary spending and impulse purchases. When on Amazon or walking through Target, Costco or the grocery store, you are provided with many opportunities to buy items that you do not need. It is all too easy to add items in your shopping cart. If you are present and take a pause, you can consciously decide if this purchase is what you truly want and if it fits in your budget.
  7. Improve your memory. A pause allows for the brain to fully process information and to file the information for later recall. Starting in our late 30s, interaction with information is the key to better recall. The brain appreciates functional information. A pause is enough time to determine if the information is useful and to choose your recall strategy.

Enjoy the pause and the mental reset it can provide whether you take three to five seconds or up to a five minutes, The “Power of the Pause” is truly a brain changer and will positively affect how you are functioning in your career, at home and in your relationships.

Would you like to see my video regarding the  “The Power of the Pause?” You can find it on Facebook here >>

Wishing you more presence, connection and ease,

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