Taking Intentional Pauses to Support Self-Esteem

May 21, 2024 Sean Gunderson

Taking intentional pauses in my life has been transformative for my self-esteem. For a long time, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Life seemed like a relentless race, and I was perpetually out of breath, unable to keep up with its demands. It wasn't until I started taking intentional pauses that I began to see a change in my self-esteem and overall mental health

Intentional Pauses Can Be Productive for Self-Esteem

Initially, the idea of pausing felt counterproductive. In a world that glorifies constant productivity, stopping to rest or reflect seemed like a luxury that I could not afford. However, I realized that these intentional breaks were essential for my wellbeing. During these intentional pauses, I took the time to engage in activities that nurtured my soul and spirit. Whether it was a quiet walk in nature, a few minutes of meditation, or simply sitting in silence, these moments allowed me to reconnect with myself. 

In these moments of intentional pause, I started to reflect on my achievements and the qualities that make me unique. This practice was crucial for my self-esteem. Instead of focusing on what I lacked or what I had not accomplished, I began to appreciate my strengths and the small victories I achieved each day. This shift in perspective helped me to build a more positive self-image.

Moreover, taking intentional pauses provided me with the clarity to identify and challenge negative self-talk. When I was constantly on the go, it was easy to let self-critical thoughts spiral out of control. By taking a step back, I gained the mental space to question these thoughts and replace them with affirmations of self-worth. This practice significantly bolstered my self-esteem, as I learned to treat myself with the kindness and respect that I deserved. 

Intentional Pauses Help Ground Us in Reality 

Another benefit of these pauses was the opportunity to set realistic goals and expectations. Previously, I often felt overwhelmed by the pressure to meet unrealistic standards, which took a toll on my self-esteem. However, during my intentional breaks, I was able to reassess my goals and align them with my true capabilities and desires. This not only made my objectives more attainable but also enhanced my sense of accomplishment and self-worth. 

Furthermore, these intentional pauses allowed me to connect with my support system. Whether it was reaching out to a friend or attending a healing circle, these moments of connection reinforced the idea that I am not alone in my journey. Sharing my experiences and receiving encouragement from others played a pivotal role in improving my self-esteem. It reminded me that seeking help is a strength, not a weakness. 

Why I Love Intentional Pauses

In conclusion, taking intentional pauses has been a vital strategy in improving my self-esteem. These breaks have given me the space to reflect, challenge negative thoughts, set realistic goals, and connect with others. By incorporating these pauses into my routine, I have learned to appreciate myself more and approach life with greater confidence and self-assurance.

If you are struggling with your self-esteem, I encourage you to take intentional pauses in your life. These moments of rest and reflection can be the key to unlocking a more positive and empowered version of yourself. 

APA Reference
Gunderson, S. (2024, May 21). Taking Intentional Pauses to Support Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Sean Gunderson

Sean Gunderson (they/them) has a wealth of lived experience with mental health issues and, after publishing their thesis, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Psychiatric Survivor: Exploring the Paradigm Shift in Mental Health," became an advocate for embracing the ongoing scientific paradigm shift in the field of mental health. Find Sean on Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, and their site

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