Do you sometimes find yourself overreacting, defending yourself or in uncomfortable situations that don’t bring out the best in you? If so, pausing may be just the thing you need to do. Consider integrating some of the recommendations made in the below PAUSE exercise. Also, don’t miss the last section of this post on what creates a mood.
Pause: An intentional decision to stop, to unplug from distractions and to be in the moment.
“Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between the stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness.” – Rollo May
Emotional regulation requires self-awareness, so hit the pause button next time you are triggered. This will help you respond with greater intention.
Hit the pause button and check-in!
Before reacting consider practicing the pause. The below PAUSE EXERCISE provides some practical suggestions on how you can pause so you can take action with greater intention.
- Focus on yourself
- Be a witness to what you are experiencing
- Notice details in the moment by waking up your senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch)
- Move from thinking to feeling by connecting to sensations in your body
- Notice if something is triggering you
- Process what you’re thinking and feeling
- Think about the “why” underneath both
- Pay attention to your tendencies – do you have a pattern of assuming, deflecting, projecting, defending, shutting-down, self-criticizing, minimizing
- Don’t judge…. meet yourself with compassion
- Practice grace and self-care in the moment
- Ground in gratitude
- Consider new possibilities
- Open up to a new ways of viewing things
- Get clear and be intentional about your actions
- Consider letting go and do nothing until you are ready
Emotional regulation is not easy, but it is possible. Pausing and getting more connected to what you are thinking and feeling in the moment is a great way to start.
Round this list out to 20, by thinking about 4 things that help you regulate when you are triggered.
“Pause before you react. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing or defending. Pause to take a breath and seek the truth. Let the pause be the bridge between thought, emotion and action.”
– Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
What creates a mood?
Do you sometimes find yourself in mood and you are not exactly sure how you got there? Have you ever thought about what creates your mood? Here is the 60 second skinny on the subject. We are all impacted by internal and external stimulus (situations, experiences etc.) that trigger our emotions. Feelings/emotions over an extended period of time create our mood. So, if you want to change your mood, pause and ponder what is causing me to feel the emotions I am feeling and ask yourself, do I like the way I feel? If you do, notice why you are experiencing positive emotions and pause to be grateful. If you are not, do the same thing and notice why you are experiencing negative emotions and consider: 1. First, meeting yourself with kindness 2. Pausing, breathing and connecting with the sensations in your body 3. Asking yourself more ”why” questions to better understand what is at the fulcrum (center) of your negative experience 4. Taking intentional action by doing something that will shift your mood. Just noticing your mood…. good, bad or indifferent without judgement is a good place to start. The only way you can appreciate something or change something, is if you aware of it. So, pause more, take yourself
off auto pilot and wake-up to how you are feeling and reacting. You may not be able to control the things that happen in life but you do have a choice in how you react to them.