Wouldn’t it be nice at times if we could pause or stop things happening around us just long enough to take a big, deep breath?
When our emotions are high, like in times of stress, unhappiness, or fear, we tend to react without thinking. We don’t take the time to consider what we’re feeling or why. We let our emotions determine how we think, act, or engage with the world around us and that can make us feel even worse.
By practicing the pause, we are encouraging ourselves to stop in the moment between a feeling and a reaction to think about what we’re feeling and why. This pause allows us to understand what may be causing our reaction and choose how we want to respond.
Buddhists call it the “Sacred Pause” – exploring the moment between a feeling and a reaction and choosing what comes next.
We say “practice” because stopping when we’re having strong feelings isn’t easy. It takes practice. But when we learn to pause, think about what we’re feeling and why, and change how we think, act, or be, we take control of our emotions and our lives.
And that can make us all feel better.
We’ve all heard about victims of natural disasters, and how difficult it can be for them to live through and recover from these experiences. In our minds, we think of hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes—but we don’t always think of a pandemic as a natural disaster.
We are all living through and trying to recover from the traumatic effects of COVID-19.
GCACH is working with Kira Mauseth, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in disaster behavioral health. Dr. Mauseth has developed a series of skills models, or trainings, to teach us how to take steps to improve our resilience.
These three models may be used separately or together. Just like gears in any system, our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. By changing one, you can change the other two.
Using tools from these models can improve resiliency or our ability to bounce back from trauma, and improve our ability to feel control over our emotions and our lives.