The Power of the Pleasant Pause: A Happier You in the New Year

In the new year, most of us are thinking about our health. We look to the upcoming year with hope — all of the times we’ll go to the gym and all of the vegetables we’ll eat, which is totally happening this year…

Of course, eating healthy and exercising are popular New Year’s resolutions — everyone wants to do that. Meditation is also up there for me. But, let’s face it: Meditating is hard. Meditating takes time. Meditating takes willpower that I don’t always have (largely thanks to my lovely, but energetic, children).

If meditating makes you more stressed, then what’s the point?

Given some of my hiccups with meditation, I started trying to work another angle: Mindfulness. While meditating is great*, mindfulness just seemed so much more achievable. That’s why I’m using this new year as a chance to take mindfulness moments in my everyday life — even when I’m not sitting down to meditate. I call these moments “Pleasant Pauses.” Using these breaks has helped me remember how much I have to be happy about, in small, bite-sized blocks.

What is a Pleasant Pause?

A Pleasant Pause is any time you take to relish in a moment of silence, happiness or calm. You don’t have to sit in the lotus position in your backyard Zen garden (everyone has one, right?) to do this. You can do it walking to the coffee machine, sitting on the bus to work, or even at your desk.

Once I started taking this time to enjoy these pauses, I started realizing there were cycles throughout the day when breaks are presented to us every day — inside and outside of work. The more I welcome these moments, the more I realize how much joy they bring me. And ultimately, I find myself simply being happier, all day long.

I’ve also noticed that Pleasant Pauses have helped me stop worrying about the next budget meeting, the next campaign, the next big presentation when I don’t have to be thinking about that. It’s a giant self-fulfilling happy cycle! Who doesn’t want to get on that ride? And, once you’ve practiced, you can allow yourself (gasp!) a full five minutes of peace and joy in a Mindfulness Area!

In the new year, I urge you, too, to seize those Pleasant Pauses — however long they last — to recharge your batteries and enjoy the present. When the next wave of work comes, which it will when you’re moving this fast, these Pleasant Pauses could lead to you too being more engaged, content, and eager to do your best work.

*If you’re looking for resources to help you start meditating, I recommend exploring Plum Village, the first monastic community founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) in the West’s website. The company has had a long history with Plum Village, including (most recently) guided meditations, a mindful eating lesson, and a walking meditation at Dreamforce 2016.

This article originally appeared in The Salesforce Blog.

This article was written by Jody Kohner from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.