One of the most important actions I take on a daily basis, is pausing.

Choosing to take no action is an action itself. It’s actually more difficult for me and many others, than doing something.

Like when you get an crazy email from a client, or a hater comments on your latest post…the first instinct is usually to fire off some response…or to call 5 people and ask what you should say back or do.

That used to be me. Then I would obsess and spin about whatever all damn day, sometimes all week. Robbing me of my serenity, sleep, and productivity.

All of this self-imposed crazy making stopped once I was taught the art of pausing. The action of doing nothing. This is a tough one for those of us who are go-getters with high-achieving personalities. However, I’m telling you once you practice it, your life will change for the better.

When something or someone rattles your cage, take a deep breathe and press pause. Walk away from the laptop, shut the phone off, excuse yourself to the bathroom, whatever you need to do to remove the temptation to react, and remain in a paused state.

We can’t think clearly when we are reacting. So we owe it to ourselves, and even maybe the other person/people, to take time to do nothing, until our reactive emotional state settles down.

If I badly need to get my feelings out (usually anger) around this thing or person, I break out my journal and word vomit it all out. If I’m face to face in a situation, I’ll excuse my self to the ladies room, open the notes app on my phone and type out my anger, hurt, or shame.

Remember, just because someone wants you to respond to them quickly, doesn’t mean you have to. They are in a reactive state too, so it won’t go well by ripping off a reply.

Are you willing to try pausing?