How often do you stop for a second, just for a brief moment to breathe and be present? Often we're so caught up in our busy lives that we don't even think to stop, or how much that action could benefit our health. Personal career coach Julie Cohen believes greater effectiveness, leadership impact, satisfaction, and work-life balance can all be improved if we pause more often.
Why? "Pausing gives you space and time to think," she told Working Mother. "It enables you to be deliberate about your choices. Pausing can give you perspective, can allow you to change a bad situation to a better one and can permit you to appreciate what is around you. It can slow down a hectic day, enhance a conversation and prevent mistakes." Scroll down for a few of her simple ways you can pause throughout the day.
When you wake up
Before you get out of bed or grab your phone, Cohen says it's important to take a moment and acknowledge the new day. "Think about how you want to approach the day ahead and one important thing that you want to accomplish in the next 12 to 16 hours," she said.
Before you step into a meeting
We all want to rush in and get the meeting done, but Cohen said we should take stock before we go into any meeting or conversation and ask ourselves a few questions first: "How do I want this interaction to go?" "What is my preferred outcome from this connection?" Answering these simple questions will give you clarity and ensure you're "ready to figure out how to achieve what you want for yourself and the others involved."
In the moment of frustration or anger
It's easy to let our emotions take over, but once you do, there's no turning back and often you can do something you'll regret later. Cohen said "negative emotions hijack our thoughts and plans" and make us more reactive than proactive. So what do you do when anger strikes? Just pause. "In reality, it can be as simple as taking one breath," she points out. "If you can slow down and do this, ask yourself these questions: 'What do I need now?' 'What can I do to change direction?' 'How can I productively address what is causing me this feeling?' You may not be able to answer these questions and solve everything or anything in the moment, but you are likely to change directions and temper a possible outburst or reaction that will not serve you."
To read more of Julie Cohen's simple strategies to pause, visit Working Mother.
Need to stop for a moment? Try out the new relaxation app below.
Do you believe in the power of the pause? How do you take time out during the day? Share your tips below.