Practice the Pause

Smilie Lights by Ben Faulding

Practice the Pause

In life, we experience many ups and downs. As we sway and adjust to the twist and turns we are constantly experiencing life lessons. There are teachable moments in every instance. We can be enlightened and learn more about ourselves, others and everything in between. We are impacted by what is happening in and around us. In reading this article you will learn about how our thoughts impact every aspect of our lives. Our thoughts play a huge role in how we feel. In many cases, it happens automatically. Thoughts affect the way we feel and how we behave is the result. Thoughts, feelings, and actions all working together to make an outcome. It is up to us as to which outcome we will experience. Let’s make it more personal, It is up to YOU which outcome YOU will experience.

It is important to recognize the automatic thoughts we have when a situation happens to us. It can be a checkup. This can help us to reflect on our personal belief system. Instead of seeing the situation as another unwanted task, or chore we may begin to see it as a wonderful opportunity to begin to change the course of how we want the outcome to be. That’s right we get the chance to be in charge of how things turn out, rather than the taking the brunt of an unwanted force coming at us. It helps to appreciate the importance of what happens when we slow down and pause.

Real life example

A person receives an email from a co-worker that is not the most pleasant or respectful. This email downright upsets them and they begin to fire off an email back to the person that upset them. This could potentially get them into trouble or possibly at least a meeting with human resources.

The person does not automatically have control of the other person until they give that person permission to enter their thoughts negatively. This is where the pause comes in. We can see easily how the situation can affect the automatic thoughts, feelings, and actions of the person that received the email. Now let’s have that same person get the same upsetting email but they practice the pause.

They may wait a few minutes, hours or day if need be before responding (if time permits). This way they can process their thoughts, feelings, and actions. When the person returns to respond to the email they can do so in an appropriate manner. Leave the emotion out of the email. The person has had time to reflect, think, and plan their response instead of being automatic in their actions.

How else can we practice the pause in our life? This is useful in many life circumstances.

This does not mean the person that was upset should ignore their issue or concern but more so to be aware of their actions and possible outcomes. When they respond without the automatic emotions tied to the email it may ultimately provide a better response.

When we respond after practicing the pause we too may receive a more positive response.

Practicing the pause can help the upset person more so in learning how to process and break down the issue before responding back with a quick karate chop of words or actions. As fast as things can happen it helps to pause and take a moment. Later in other articles, I will talk about mindfulness. Personally one of the many favorite things I like to practice.

Learning to pause takes practice. Take a moment instead of sending that quick angry email or snapping back at a spouse, wait a while. Use that time to gather your thoughts and emotions. I encourage you to practice the pause in various situations to see how it can improve your life.

Times when to practice the pause:

  • Pause when an upsetting situation happens
  • Pause when a life-changing event happens
  • Pause when an unexpected situation happens
  • Pause when you have the thoughts
  • Pause before you respond

Questions to think while in the pause:

  • What is happening in this situation?
  • What feelings am I having?
  • What do I want to have happen in this situation?
  • How can I behave in a way to encourage that to happen?


Experience this kind of personal growth by contacting us at @  FHC.
Flourishing Hope Counseling PLLC is a Kingsville, Texas Private Practice.



Photo above “Smilie Lights “ by Ben Faulding is licensed under CC BY 2.0