Learning to PAUSE is important for everyone. It offers an opportunity to step back and notice what is happening. Then there is an opportunity to reflect on what is happening which allows for the possibility of responding to the situation rather than reacting. For someone with ADHD or similar challenges, pausing is helpful in dealing with impulsivity.

A pause can be just a few seconds, or it can be longer. It can even be a creative moment. Franz Kafka once said: “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen. Simply wait. Do not even wait. Be quiet, still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Isn’t that amazing — and inviting?

Pausing opens the door to being mindful which many folks with ADHD think they cannot achieve because their brains are too active. But a pause is just a second or two of metacognition — of thinking about what we’re thinking about. Taking that tiny step successfully over and over can open the door to a more mindful life.


Lind Swanson and her husband, Neil, are partners at Free To Be Coaching, LLC, where they coach in person or by phone, Skype, or FaceTime. They coach students from middle school through college as well as adults of all ages, and they also facilitate two support groups for parents of children with ADHD. Linda and Neil are both graduates of the ADD Coach Academy and are credentialed by the International Coach Federation and the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches. Linda can be reached at linda@freetobecoaching.com or (703) 508-4774. 

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