10 benefits of being still

Pausing for 60 seconds can help you reset the trajectory of your day

When you’re busy juggling responsibilities, your mind’s a blur with racing thoughts, and coping with the many demands life asks of you, it might feel impossible to stop for a second, let alone a whole minute. But what if taking a 60-second break could help you reset, feel more in control, and perhaps even give you back time?

Here are 10 ways you can benefit from being still and focusing your attention for one minute…

  1. Hitting the pause button can slow, and even stop, your brain from going into hyperdrive. Consciously switching your attention from everything that’s whirring to one thing in the present moment, such as your breathing or any sounds that you can hear, allows the whirlwind to slow and calm down.
  2. It allows you to ground yourself in the present moment. When you’re caught up in a jumble of thoughts, you’re not really in the here and now. By stopping to focus your attention on what’s happening around you at a certain time, you can re-engage with reality.
  3. You can notice the stories you’re telling yourself as you rush through the day. Perhaps the story you’re spinning is that if you don’t meet a deadline everything will be ruined. Maybe you’re imagining what someone really meant by the look they gave you. Or perhaps you’re worrying what tonight’s work event will entail. By noticing the stories you’re telling yourself, you can question and challenge them to see how real they are and the impact they’re having on you.
  4. Self-talk – the words your inner voice is using as it jabbers away – is easier to spot. Are you telling yourself you should do or be something? Is your self-talk critical, harsh or hurtful? When you acknowledge that you’re talking to yourself in an unkind and demeaning way, you can change your language to be gentler and more compassionate.
  5. You can check your physical posture and assess if you’re sitting in an awkward position or if your back is aching from standing for too long. Are your shoulders tense? Is your jaw clenched? Are you frowning? This gives you the opportunity to move, rest or stretch out your body
  6. It offers you the time to see what you need in the moment. It’s easy to be so caught up in thinking and doing that you become disconnected from your own needs. It may not be until your body or mind is metaphorically yelling at you – a rumbling tummy, sore eyes or feeling worried – that you notice and then do something about it. Give yourself the chance to become aware of and tend to your needs.
  7. There’s an opportunity to be more intentional. This could be in the morning as you decide the course of your day and how you wish to spend your time, be that focusing on one task in particular, not online shopping or checking social media.
  8. Pausing for a second during a conversation can also encourage a more intentional response. It’s easier to give others more focused attention and less likely that your thoughts will drift off mid-sentence, making you lose track of what you’re saying. You can focus on what others are saying, how they’re saying it and how you’ll respond. It improves your connection and makes it easier to pick up on underlying messages that you might otherwise have missed.
  9. Moments of joy are brought to the fore. It could be the warmth of the sun on your face, a refreshing cup of tea or the sound of wind in the trees. There are opportunities to feel joy all around you, every day, and pausing a few times to notice them can boost happiness.
  10. You can extract more from life by feeling thankful for all that’s good in your world. So, not only does the sun on your face feel lovely, you can also appreciate that it isn’t raining. Pausing to recognise what you have to be thankful for in your life helps you feel more joy, boosts optimism and strengthens resilience.

This article was originally published in Breathe Issue 27, All in good time - View Magazine

Enjoying our inspiring stories? Sign up to our newsletter and receive our latest editorial and offers directly in your inbox.