Pressing Pause Podcast episode 50 10 Ways you can benefit from pressing pause in your own life
Welcome to Pressing Pause, the podcast for overthinkers.
I’m Gabrielle Treanor and I’m here to share with you ideas, inspiration and actions to empower you to spend less time overthinking and worrying and more time enjoying your life.
Hello and welcome to episode 50, can you believe this is the fiftieth episode of the Pressing Pause podcast? It’s just over a year since I started this podcast and I have been utterly thrilled with the response to it. Thank you to every one of you who has listened, who’s shared it, who’s messaged me about the episodes, I’m enormously grateful to every single one of you. It makes me so happy to know that you find what I share here thought-provoking, in a good way, inspiring and that you try out some of my suggestions and that you find benefit from it. Everything I do is with the intention of helping you to worry less and enjoy life more so if this is something you find supportive that’s fantastic. And remember that there are more ways you can connect with me and what I share on my website, gabrielletreanor.com.
So, for today’s fiftieth episode of Pressing Pause I thought we’d look at ten different ways you can benefit from pressing pause for just a few seconds or minutes in your own life.
And by pressing pause I mean stopping what you’re doing to focus your attention on one thing, to call a ceasefire on the battle you may be having in your own head, to halt the multi-tasking, juggling act you’re doing and to be still, in this moment for a few seconds or minutes.
So, number one is it can slow and even stop your overthinking going into hyperdrive. Our thoughts can whirr around our brains so fast but by consciously focusing our attention not on our thinking but on one thing in the present moment, like our breathing or what we can hear, it allows the whirlwind to slow down. Pressing pause means that you’re noticing when your thoughts are spiralling and you can take action to calm them.
This leads us on to number two which is that it then allows you to ground yourself in reality, in this present moment. So when you’re caught up in your thinking you’re in your head, you’re not really in the real world, you’re going over the past or what if-ing the future. When you hit the pause button and focus your attention on what’s happening around you, what’s happening in real life in this moment, you can ground yourself in reality rather than be lost in your imagination.
So then number three is that pressing pause allows you to get curious and ask what story you’re telling yourself in your overthinking. Now you’ve created a little space between you and your thoughts you can look at them and see what stories you’re making up. Perhaps you’re imagining what a work colleague really meant by their comment or what tonight’s party could be like. And by noticing the stories you’re telling yourself you can question and challenge them to see how real they are.
Connected to this is number four – it allows you to notice your self-talk, the words your inner voice is using as it jabbers away at you. Are you telling yourself you should do or be something? Is your self-talk critical, harsh and hurtful? Are you being far more mean to yourself than you would ever be to a friend? If you realise you’re talking to yourself in an unkind, unsupportive, downright nasty way, you can then change your language to be more compassionate, less critical and absolute.
Okay, so number five, when you press pause you can notice what’s going on with you physically, as well as mentally. When we live in our heads we can ignore how our body feels. By pausing for a moment you can check in to see if you’re sitting in an awkward position or if you haven’t moved for hours. Are your shoulders tense or your jaw clenched? Are you frowning, has your foot gone to sleep? This gives you the opportunity to move, to rub your aching shoulders or to have a big stretch.
Which brings us on to number six, which is that pressing pause in your own life allows you to recognise what you need in this moment. We get so caught up in our thinking, in our work, in doing all the time that we get disconnected from ourselves and our own needs. It may not be until our body or mind are metaphorically yelling at us like stiff shoulders, a rumbling tummy, sore eyes or feeling panicky that we notice and then do something about it. Hitting pause and asking yourself what do you need right now gives yourself the chance to recognise your own needs and tend to them. Whether it’s having a stretch, talking to a friend or taking a few deep breaths.
Number seven, another way that pressing pause helps is that it prompts you to be more intentional. This could be at the start of your day as you decide how you want to feel or be that day. Or to be more intentional with your actions – rather than constantly checking social media or replying to emails the moment they ping in do you want to switch it all off while you focus on one piece of work? Pausing for a second when you’re in conversation lets you be more intentional about your response so rather than instantly hitting back with a comment you can consider what it is you really want to say.
So then number eight is that hitting pause on the mental whirrings in your own mind allows you to be more focused and present with other people. When you’re talking with someone you may find your thoughts drifting off or you’re thinking about what your reply will be, rather than really concentrating on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. We all know what it’s like when we feel we have someone’s undivided attention, it feels great! We feel really listened to and it deepens our connection, plus when you’re really paying attention you can pick up on underlying messages or body language that you would have otherwise missed.
Number nine is one of my favourite benefits of pressing pause – recognising the little moments of joy that might have slipped by unnoticed if you were busy doing or thinking. When you press pause and give your attention to the here and now you can notice all kinds of things that make you smile, because you stopped to notice them. It could be the warmth of the sun on your face or your child singing to themselves or the delicious cup of tea you’re drinking or any of a million things! There are little opportunities to feel joy all around us, every day, and by pressing pause every so often we can recognise those opportunities and give our happiness levels a little bump up.
Which brings me on to our final number ten which is that pressing pause helps you to not only notice the moments of joy but to extract even more from life by feeling thankful for all that is good in your life. So not only does the sun on your face feel good and make you smile but you can appreciate that for once it isn’t raining and that warmer weather is on its way. By pausing to recognise what you have to be thankful for in your life, what there is to appreciate, you feel more joy, you boost your optimism and you strengthen your resilience.
So you can gain all this by simply taking a moment to press pause in your own life. I’m not talking about stopping everything for half an hour, or making it a big thing on your do to list that you have to do, but choosing, occasionally, to just pause for a few seconds, check in with yourself, hit the reset button and then carry on with your day.
I would love to know what you’ve taken from this episode, what you’ve found interesting or helpful or thought-provoking from any of the past 50 episodes so please do let me know. You can find me on Instagram as @gabrielletreanor or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you enjoy this podcast I’d be hugely grateful if you left a review on iTunes because it really helps other people to find the podcast too. And I do a little happy dance too.
As always you can find the show notes at gabrielletreanor.com/podcast and lots of other resources to help you to worry less and enjoy life more are there on my website.
I’m going to press pause on the podcast for a few weeks but I will be back with new episodes soon.
Until then, thanks for listening, lovely people.