Pause for Peace

It’s a very difficult time in America right now with political turmoil, violence, and strife. Many of us are reacting from a place of anger and fear, and we find ourselves in a constant state of unrest.

One of the key things that you can do for yourself to find more peace is to pause throughout each day.

When we forget to pause, we lose focus, become distracted, hurt or avoid people, feel rushed, and miss the beauty around us.

Here are five important times to pause during each day:

  1. Before speaking and in conversation. Be present. If you pause before you speak, you will have a better opportunity to connect. And then when your conversation partner is speaking, make sure you really listen. Pause before responding. The pause you take prior to engaging with another will help you to stay in the moment.
  2. When you awaken each day. Do you grab your phone and start checking email and text messages the moment you wake up? I suggest that you develop a short morning routine that allows you to pause, breathe, and stretch in order to begin each day intentionally. Your morning routine needs to come before your digital distractions! Try it—you will likely find yourself feeling more peaceful throughout the day as a result.
  3. Before grabbing your electronic device. Do you mindlessly check your phone or digital multiple times throughout the day? I recently realized that my habit of checking my devices—especially looking at my newsfeeds—was causing me angst. Once I recognized what was going on, I decided to delete the automated newsfeeds and to do my best to check my phone only at scheduled intervals every few hours, not on an ongoing basis.
  4. During meals. Take the time to eat mindfully. Enjoy your food. Savor each bite. If you are eating with others, make eye contact and conversation. By so doing, you will likely control the amount of food that you eat as well as make meaningful connections.
  5. Before sleep. Take a minute or two and reflect back on your waking hours. Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?” Name at least three people, places, or things for which you are grateful. Then, take a few slow, deep breaths. Going to bed with a sense of gratitude and a quiet mind will support good quality sleep.
Please don’t forget to pause. It will make a difference in your life. Take a deep breath. Walk in nature. Write down your thoughts in a journal. Create space for yourself. You will feel more at peace. And we all need a little more of that.