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The purposeful pause

coaching emotional intelligence mindfulness Oct 26, 2021


After a year of turmoil, chaos, fear, uncertainty, despair and gratitude, it is time to press pause, to reflect, make sense and move forward with purpose again.

When you write you use pauses, so the reader has a chance to catch their breath and make sense of all the words they are reading.

Life’s pauses are not much different from this. You need our full stops, so you can catch your breath, and this simple function keeps you alive. You will often go through life without consciously thinking of this vital function, it is just there. But you should learn to be more aware of your breath and bring it into your conscious more often.


When we live through a period of life when we experience turmoil, chaos, fear, uncertainty and despair, our inner alarm centre goes into full alert. The longer our body and mind need to work in this state, the higher the chances it will be impacting our physical and mental health.

If our inner alarm centre is working at full capacity, we may pick up unproductive habits to dull the discomfort. These can be in form of alcohol after a long and stressful day manning the alarm centre. It may be in form of overeating — because you feel you “deserve” a treat — or in the form of escaping by watching tv, or possibly even a combination of them all.

If any of these are starting to impact your health, personal relationships or work, it may be time to pause and practise self-care.

Are you aware when you need to pause?

If yes, then you have unlocked the first stage of building your emotional intelligence. First, you must be aware, then you can take action. You are an emotional being, and your alarm centre is listening and reacting to the emotions you have in your body and the feelings you are feeling. It is normal, it was built this way, to keep you alive and safe.

To take control of your inner alarm centre, or what I tend to refer to as our Dinosaur we must first pause, breathe and raise our awareness of what is going on. This may not be comfortable, but pausing, breathing and connecting with yourself, it will allow you to calm down your alarm centre.

To calm your alarm centre and central nervous system you can:


  • · Pause and breath, take deep breaths, in and out and just focus on your breath
  • · Have a mindful cup of tea or coffee, just connect and pay attention to the weight, feel, smell, taste of the warm cup of tea or coffee.
  • Focus on what is within your control and manageable

When you take time to pause, reflect and build your awareness, you are building your space so you can grow.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Viktor Frankl

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