The latest wave in mindfulness is the area of practice application – how to integrate the basic skills of attention and awareness into everyday activity, so the practices of mindfulness can come out of the ashram and into the office and personal home front. Systematic pauses for attentive practices reinforce the cultivation of new brain habits that support calm and focus.
Intentional, mindful pauses can come in almost any form. Programs like The People’s Pause are founded on short, micro-bites of “on demand” practice, a DIY platform for skill building. But intentional breathing practices aren’t the only path to pause.
Companies like Mindful Flowers provide pause for conscious experiencing of natural beauty, and you can build the same skills by purposefully pausing to savor a home garden.
Another powerful way to practice stillness and connection is through mindful gazing. While events like the World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experience provide an opportunity for community connection, the same can be done over the course of 3 conscious breaths shared with the checkout clerk or your life partner.
And being a lover of the breath, I highly recommend mindful physical contact practices like partner breathing. Lay or sit together, back to back, and feel the breath slowly synchronize the flow through your bodies. Add in an ambient music and some mindful gazing, and you’ve got a particularly beautiful pause experience.
Mindful pausing supports the process of positive neural plasticity, so stop and savor something beautiful today and begin to build a happier, healthier brain.