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  • Writer's pictureMadhurima Sappatti

The Power of "Just One Second": Stress Management through Asking for a Pause

Pausing action for stress management
Pausing action for stress management


In the fast-paced rhythm of our daily lives, overwhelming demands from work, family, and personal pursuits can easily lead to stress and burnout. One simple yet profound strategy for managing this overwhelm is often overlooked—the power of asking for a second. In this article, we explore how taking that extra moment can not only help prioritize tasks but also become a potent tool for stress management.

The Overwhelm Conundrum

Life often throws a multitude of tasks and responsibilities our way, leaving us feeling stretched thin. This overwhelm can stem from a flood of requests from co-workers, family members, and even our own ambitious and passionate pursuits. The immediate response might be to dive headfirst into action, but sometimes, this only adds to the stress.

The Pause That Refreshes

Here's where the magic of asking for a second comes into play. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of immediate action, take a moment to pause. By requesting a brief pause, you create a valuable space between the demand and your response. This simple act allows you to evaluate the situation more calmly and, in turn, manage your stress effectively.

Prioritizing with Precision

Asking for a second isn't just about delaying tasks; it's about gaining clarity on their urgency and importance. This brief pause serves as an opportunity to inquire about the level of priority attached to the request. By doing so, you empower yourself to allocate your time and energy more efficiently, ensuring that you address the most critical tasks first.

The Art of Saying "No"

Moreover, the act of asking for a second provides a chance to assess your own capacity. It gives you the freedom to negotiate timelines and set realistic expectations. If a particular task is too much to handle at the moment, this strategy allows you to communicate your limitations and, when necessary, say "no." This boundary-setting aspect is crucial for preventing the accumulation of stress-inducing responsibilities.

Stress Management through Intentional Action

By incorporating the habit of asking for a second into your daily routine, you are actively engaging in stress management. This intentional action allows you to navigate through the sea of demands with a clear mind. Rather than being swept away by the overwhelming tide, you become the captain of your ship, steering it with purpose and resilience.

Mindful Decision-Making

Each second you take to pause and assess contributes to mindful decision-making. This mindfulness is a key component of stress management. It enables you to break down overwhelming tasks into manageable steps and approach them with a composed demeanour. The result is a more structured and less chaotic approach to your responsibilities.


In the race against time and mounting expectations, the power of asking for a second should not be underestimated. This simple act serves as a shield against the onslaught of stress and overwhelm, offering a moment of reprieve for thoughtful consideration. By incorporating this strategy into your daily life, you not only prioritize effectively but also nurture a mindset of intentional action, making stress management an achievable goal. So, the next time you feel the pressure building, remember the transformative potential of "just one second."

If you need support with managing overwhelm, book a free 30-minute strategy session here!


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