THE POWER OF PAUSE | Om Yoga Magazine

Have you ever been on that wheel of repetitive behaviours that you know aren’t serving you but seem unable to stop? Each morning we perhaps resolve to do better, eat more healthily, drink more water, be wine-free in the evening.

We do well for the first part of the day but by mid-afternoon our resolve is fading and we are already negotiating with ourselves: one glass only tonight, I deserve a biscuit with my coffee after that stressful phone call/meeting…and the variations go on.

While our bodies are wonderfully sophisticated with systems that are able to get rid of toxins, over time, through poor dietary choices, caffeine, alcohol, stressful lifestyles and exposure to environmental toxins, these pathways can become sluggish. Creating space and hitting pause even for a few days gives us the opportunity to evaluate and make different choices, allowing our bodies a chance to purge themselves of unnecessary stressors.

There is a growing trend of people looking for programmes to help support them in re-balancing and re-connecting with themselves. Paradoxically we have never been more connected, certainly from a technology standpoint, and yet somehow we seem to have lost the connection with ourselves.

There’s been much said and written on the subject of the pandemic being a watershed, an opportunity to re-evaluate and make changes, and that is of course true; that it brought so many things to a head for so many people. This movement was already underway but exacerbated by the global pandemic. We were forced to be physically disconnected, forced to be socially distant, our freedoms removed, and we started asking ourselves questions about what we wanted, how we wanted to live, how we wanted to feel.

There’s a famous quote: “The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

The fastest way to change how we feel is to take an honest look at what we are consuming both mentally (think news and social media), and physically (what we are eating and drinking). Taking a few days to hit reset interrupts habitual behaviours. Habits are so powerful because over time they become unconscious, like brushing our teeth, or driving a car, we don’t even have to think about what we are doing, the activities are so ingrained.

So from a mental perspective embarking on a reset in our habitual behaviour provides the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and make more conscious choices. It’s stepping back to give us a fresh perspective. The secret here is not to make too many changes that overwhelm us. It’s better to set one or two small goals such as drinking more water and cutting out alcohol and caffeine for a few days rather than completely trying to re-invent ourselves. Small changes, implementing one or two healthier habits that are more likely to stick over time.