GPS Guide: Mirabai Bush's Mindful Response To Frustration And Impatience At Work

12 Simple Ways To Pause At Work
businessman in the office
businessman in the office

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

My document disappeared! The Internet is down. The printer only pumps out blank pages. Frustration! Impatience! Stress hormones rising! What to do?

It’s time for The Pause. Impatience is inside us. Technology is outside. In moments of impatience, pause, and bring your attention to your breath: Breathe in, breathe out. Try three long slow breaths, noticing the breath and nothing else.

Pausing, even for three breaths, before reacting to a difficult situation is a form of patience. Patience includes perseverance and acceptance of truth. And it also allows us to not return harm, rather than merely enduring a difficult situation. It helps us control our emotions even when we are deeply frustrated.

A pause may also give us a better understanding of the situation and our intentions within it. At the very least it will reduce our stress level, calm us down. And maybe help us reflect on the truth of the moment: What is so terrible about waiting a few minutes for the net to return? Maybe we need to look at how we’ve overscheduled ourselves, or what it is we are trying to prove by doing so much in one day. Learn to recognize the signs.

Remember that it is not worth the racing cortisol (the hormone effective for escaping a tiger, but not for coping with a lost document). And then, pause and breathe.

Below, find 12 calming reminders to do exactly that: Pause and breathe. Return to these soothing words whenever you feel a stress storm brewing.

12 Reminders To Pause

Mirabai Bush is a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and served as Executive Director until 2008. Under her direction, The Center developed its programs in education, law, business, and activism and its network of thousands of people integrating contemplative practice and perspective into their lives and work. Before entering the foundation world, Mirabai was the first woman to work on the Saturn-Apollo moonflight at Cape Canaveral.

She later co-founded and directed Illuminations, Inc. in Cambridge, MA. Her innovative business approaches, based on mindfulness practice, were reported in Newsweek, Inc., Fortune, and the Boston Business Journal. She is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service (Random House). Her latest audio work, Working with Mindfulness (More Than Sound), offers guided mindfulness exercises for the workplace to help reduce stress, increase productivity, and encourage creative problem solving.

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