The Power of Pause


The Power of Pause


ADHDers often have a tendency to react impulsively rather than responding after thinking. We like to make snap decisions. Unfortunately, that is not always the best plan. The Power of Pause is the key to managing that impulsivity and making better decisions. It is the difference between reacting irrationally, and responding intelligently.

For ADHDers, the ability to pause is a real challenge. It is interesting to note that with ADHD, pausing is a bio-neurological challenge. It doesn’t happen naturally. Reacting immediately is naturally programmed into our brain. However, if we can learn to become aware of certain situations that trigger our impulsivity, we can take control and pause.

Everything begins with a pause.

First, what does it mean to pause?

Stop! Take a breath and notice, “what’s going on here?” It is like watching the movie of your life from outside your body.

The key is to observe WITHOUT judgment or blame and NOTICE what is happening and what might happen if you don’t get control. Don’t beat your self up! Just think, “What do I really want to happen here?” You can learn to observe yourself consciously. Just pause and notice.

Pausing only takes about 3 seconds! After that, make a better, smarter choice. The purpose of pausing is to change the patterns. You can change from reacting negatively to choosing a positive response – in just 3 seconds!

How do you know when to pause? Our body has wonderful radar that can tell us it’s time to pause. We can pay attention to signals of overwhelm in our body (tight shoulders, tense lips, stomach pain). When these appear, pay attention! Time to pause, observe and choose

If we don’t pay attention to these signs, WATCH OUT!! It takes just 1/32 of a second for these negative thoughts to set off the amygdala. When this happens, the amygdala does two things.

1) It sends a message to our adrenal gland to flood our body with negative adrenaline – our fear response – fight or flight! We are in overwhelm!

2) It also turns off the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the source of logic. We can’t think! We are pumped with adrenalin and not thinking! We are in a spiral of negativity without the ability to choose a positive outcome. Bad things will inevitably happen! Not good!

However, a three second pause to observe, relax and think, overrides that amygdala and reignites the pre-frontal cortex. In three seconds, you are smart again! You get to pick how you respond. That can make a huge different in how your whole day goes!

Try it! You will be amazed what three seconds can do!