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Your Own Natural Pace

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Your Own Natural Pace by Hugh Osborne

Summer 2014

One thing I see again and again in my work with clients is that, to some degree, they are living life at a faster pace than is natural for them. This is understandable because for many of us life is fast paced and demanding, the problem is that many of us don’t take time to slow down and recharge – at least not in natural and healthy ways!

Many of the people who come to see me for stress, anxiety and other issues, are struggling because of this. Many of them have become less productive in their work as a result. Because they have spent too long living life at a stretch and have forgotten how to relax. Many of them have developed habits such as smoking, binge drinking, binge eating, or drug use, as a way to manage the stress and anxiety that comes from pushing themselves too hard for too long.

When I speak of pace I am not only speaking about the speed at which we do things. I am also speaking about the more internal aspects of our pace. Internal pace is something that many of us don’t pay much attention too, and yet doing so is essential if we are to gain some basic self-awareness into our functioning. By internal pace, I mean the pace of our breathing and our thinking. I am also speaking about emotional awareness, and the way we hold ourselves physically.

If we don’t pay attention to these things then we may find ourselves feeling more and more internal pressure without really knowing why. We may also find ourselves acting in ways that are incongruent with our beliefs and values, but feeling powerless to stop or change this. With this is mind, it is perhaps clear that continuing to ignore our internal functioning is not really an option if what we want is to live a healthy and balanced life. Here are a few pointers to help you make a start.

Breathing: Take a few moments each day, especially when you are in the thick of the action, to check in with your breathing. Is the breath flowing in and our in a deep, natural, and unrestricted rhythm? Or is it tight, irregular in its pace, restricted and shallow?

Thinking: Are you using your thoughts or are they using you? Our thinking can be a beautiful tool of creativity or a saboteur that keeps us stuck and anxious. Which one is it for you?

Feelings: Feelings are useful things that, when consciously related too, can help us skillfully navigate the challenges of daily life. If we are not conscious of them then they can end up driving us – and this is rarely a good thing!

Physicality: How is your body habitually responding to the pressures of daily life? Does it feel relaxed and open, restless and tense, or somewhere in-between? Becoming aware of these more internal aspects of our pace gives us some good measurement gages to check in with so that we can gain more awareness of ourselves and how we function.

It would be easy to say that a simple lifestyle change is what’s needed to deal with this issue, but there are also unconscious aspects at work that Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help resolve. These unconscious patterns that come in the form of unquestioned beliefs, significant but unresolved emotional events, and outdated identity imprints, will be unique to each individual, but all can be helped and resolved with Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

If you are feeling the effects of a fast pace life and have forgotten how to relax, then here are a few pointers that might help.

Measurement: Find a personal metaphor that can help you monitor your pace from moment to moment. Imagine an internal metronome, speedometer, thermometer, barometer, pressure gage, or anything else that helps in keeping track and finding natural pace.

Environment: Be aware of how your environment can trigger you into pushing yourself to be at a pace that is faster than you are comfortable with. Have you ever noticed how people speed up their walking pace when they enter a tube station? Maybe you don’t have to do the same. Maybe it’s possible to move your locus of control from being an external to an internal one. Something to think about.

First Thing: Start the day as you mean to go on. Allow yourself plenty of time in the morning. If you start the day against the clock then that is the energy that you carry forward. How might your whole day unfold differently if you made this one simple change?

Following some of the things I’ve suggested here and having a few sessions with a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, could make a big difference to your sense of wellbeing and productivity in so many positive ways. It all begins with finding your natural pace, with coming back to you.