Develop Your Pause Practice

The Power of Pause

Mindfulness is bringing your full attention and awareness to your present moment experience without judgement; it is noticing what is happening now, without trying to change or fix anything. When we are faced with challenges or stressful situations, our sympathetic nervous system activates, forcing our bodies into fight, flight or freeze. This stress response is not always productive in our modern world and can lead to negative health outcomes. Instead, consider developing a Pause Practice to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and cultivate self-compassion.

Benefits of Pausing:

  • Allows you to handle challenging moments to the best of your ability

  • Helps you refocus

  • Gives the nervous system a chance to regain balance

  • Allows you to be curious and offers a shift in perspective

  • Builds your stress resilience

Ways to practice your Pause

Before eating,

  • Pause. Be grateful for your food

  • Pause. Put your distractions aside and focus on the sensations of eating (sights, smells, tastes, feelings) 

  • Pause. Think about the journey your food took to get to your plate

  • Pause. Reflect how this food will nourish your body

Before moving your body,

  • Pause. Let go of unrelated thoughts and focus on your body in the present moment

  • Pause. Focus on your breathing during movement

  • Pause. Celebrate what your body can do

  • Pause. Be mindful of limits; listen to your body

Before reacting to a stressful situation,

  • Pause. Pay attention to your breathing and take a deep breath

  • Pause. Take note of how you are feeling

Before transitioning to your next activity,

  • Pause. Notice the beauty around you

  • Pause. Think of two things you are grateful for

  • Pause. Notice what is calming

Before engaging in relationships,

  • Pause. Consider the thoughts and feelings of yourself and the person you are engaging with

  • Pause. Form deeper relationships by engaging your capacity to be vulnerable

  • Pause. Consider your capacity to be present before engaging with another person

Before engaging in sexual activity,

  • Pause. Check in with yourself and your partner to confirm consent

  • Pause. Take responsibility for the safety of yourself and your partner

Before sleeping/napping,

  • Pause. Focus on slowing down your breath to relax a busy mind

  • Pause. Put your phone to do not disturb and set it aside to avoid distractions

  • Pause. Ready your environment for quality napping/sleeping

  • Pause. Try a meditation to help fall asleep when falling asleep is difficult

                Sleep Meditation Resources:

Before drinking or using other substances,

  • Pause before you plan an event.

  • Pause to help others.

  • Pause to be sure that you are providing an inclusive environment when you are hosting.

  • Pause to refrain from using terminology that perpetuates stigma surrounding people with alcohol or substance use disorders or living in recovery.

  • Pause before you order another drink.

  • Pause and have some water or food.

  • Pause to think about how you can reduce risk for others.

  • Pause to think about non-drinkers.

Additional resources visit:


Pause Practice Techniques & Resources

ABC's of STOP: Three Short Mindful Breaks for Your Day

Seven Ways to Slow Down

7-Minute Mindfulness Practice to Shift Out of "Doing" Mode

Visit & for more information about Mindfulness and the benefits of a Pause Practice