Burnout is rising because stress rates are rising. STRESS is the way our body and systems respond to STRESSORS (external whammies) like work, deadlines, traffic, and the never ending loop of news that creeps into places where we used to have peace. It’s super important to break down the difference between stress and stressors for a couple of reasons. Stressors may be out of our control BUT stress is something we CAN control with knowledge, focus and practice. We can choose how we respond to the whammies and that’s pretty darn amazing. Pausing is one way we can send our bodies a different signal. Pausing between sentences, thoughts, meetings, or bites of lunch sends messages to our brain that slow everything down. We can “create the pause” through breathing in ways that trigger the parasympathetic nervous system; the “peaceful” side that helps us respond to whammies in a calmer way to reduce stress, which leads to burnout. By experiencing and practicing “the pause”, we can recreate it wherever we are and choose how we respond to the stressors around us. Try this: Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose to a slow count of 3, hold. Exhale through your nose to a slow count of 3, hold. Repeat 3 more cycles.