A mindfulness tool that takes just a moment.
How often are you mindlessly caught up in thought and you’re not really “here”?
When we are mindless, we tend to be more reactive to our environment and situations. We might say things we didn’t mean to say, be unable to truly be with someone in a conversation or experience overwhelm of a demanding workload or never ending to do list.
We tend to just go and go all day without allowing ourselves to stop and check in with ourselves, even just for a moment.
Here’s a simple 5 step tool that allows us to go from being mindless to mindful, using PAUSE as an acronym.
This PAUSE can be done anywhere, anytime of the day, in fact – no one needs to know that you’re doing it.
PAUSE in transition times
Use this tool in any transition time, you can do it as you’re walking, you can sit down to do it, at the traffic lights, here are some instances when it could be most useful:
- PAUSE as you’re walking from one place to another
- when you arrive home from work, before your step in the door.
- before eating to have more appreciation for your meal and bring some awareness to what you are about to eat.
- between clients or meetings.
- or before having a difficult conversation.
So we’ve based the five steps around the acronym of the Ovio PAUSE:
P is for Pause.
Just pause and let the true experience you’re having come in. That may sound a little bit obvious, but quite often, we are in our minds remembering something that’s happened in the past or something that’s going to happen in the future and we’re not even noticing the experience we’re having in that present moment is. So just pause and let ourselves notice that.
A is to accept
Acceptance is to no longer resist what is. Accept the present moment non-judgmentally and with curiosity. Curiosity is a beautiful childlike feeling that kind of opens us up to the present moment.
U is You!
Observe yourself, your mind, your body in your environment. So how’s my mind? What’s going on in my head full of thoughts? What’s happening to my body? Am I hungry, am I tired, am I cold, hot? And the environment, what’s going on around me and my senses?
Sigh and Smile
On your next exhale, let out a sigh. By sighing, we’re releasing all that stress and tension. The sigh will naturally be followed by a deep inhale and as we’re inhaling, curve up the corners of your mouth and smile, to release the body’s endorphins, which are the natural painkillers, which actually make us feel happier and more open to the present moment.
E is to Engage
This is the outcome of the PAUSE. Now that we’re mindful, we’re ready to engage with clarity, a bit more balance and purpose, because we’ve actually arrived in the present moment, which is a wonderful feeling. Engage with those around you or the task at hand.
Of course like any new tool, at first it won’t come naturally. So, it’s recommended to start being a bit disciplined with it and set an alarm on your phone to remind you to PAUSE during the day.
Do this for the first 3 or 4 weeks to build in the habit and enjoy the benefits of a calmer and more present mind.