Mindful Check-In To Hit The Pause Button

Mindfulness can be practiced in two ways: formally and informally. Formal practice involves sitting in a quiet place and having a structured time of mindfulness, for example, a guided meditation. Informal practices are mindfulness techniques you can use in any moment to reconnect with your self-awareness. Explore ways of mindfully checking-in with yourself any time throughout the day.
Jason Murphy is a Buddhist teacher and therapist (LMFT) specialized in Trauma Resolution Therapy & Mindfulness Addiction Counseling.
mindful check in
Jason Murphy is a Buddhist teacher and therapist (LMFT) specialized in Trauma Resolution Therapy & Mindfulness Addiction Counseling.

What is a mindful check-in good for?

How many times have you wished you could take back something you did or said when you felt triggered? How many times have you reacted first and felt bad later?

Imagine if you could hit a pause button every time you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelm by what’s coming at you. Then take your time to decide what the best action might be. With practice, mindfulness can become your pause button.

How A Mindful Check-In Helps To Feel Grounded

We often do not recognize what is happening inside of us when we are triggered by craving or overwhelming emotion. We often focus our attention on what is going wrong out there. We also do not stick with what we are experiencing. Instead, we do whatever we can to get rid of that feeling— act out, lash out, avoid or numb, etc.

Mindfulness can be used as a pause button in your crazy day. In the most basic way, a mindful check-in is about focusing your attention on two fundamental questions: 

What is happening right now inside me? 


Can I stay with my experience right now? 

3 Questions For Mindful Awareness

To be more precise, ask yourself these questions whenever you feel triggered to react instead of respond:

  1. What are you feeling in your body—in this moment?
  2. What are you thinking—in this moment?
  3. What are all the feelings you are experiencing—in this moment? 

The key is to keep your awareness anchored to right now. This is mindful awareness.

Pay attention to what is happening right now without avoiding it or judging it. Can you keep your full attention focused on what you are experiencing in this moment, without trying to get rid of it? 

If you can ask yourself these questions throughout your day, you will be practicing mindfulness. You will develop more self-awareness and self-control. It might also help you to read this short script a few times a day:

Take a few minutes just to be. Take a break from your worries about the future or regrets about the past. Stop and observe. What are you experiencing in your body, thinking in your mind, and feeling in your heart?

These mindful check-in practices can be accompanied with other mindfulness techniques, e. g., the calming breath, i. e., taking a deep four-count inhale and a slow six-count exhale, or the STOP technique, i. e., in a time of stress or impatience you simply Stop, Take a breath, Observe what’s happening in the body and then Proceed with awareness.

Read more: Regular meditation can help to become more aware of thoughts and feelings. Explore how to make create a meditation routine by learning what the best time to meditate is for you.

While practicing mindfulness you learn to trust what you are actually experiencing. It takes patience and a willingness to describe what is happening without judgment. Regular practice of mindfulness is a simple and realistic way to develop the power of open awareness. This power can become stronger than the strength of your own negative habits.

Explore thousands of free guided mindfulness meditation practices that help bring awareness to the present and recognize habitual thoughts and tendencies without judgment.

Guided Mindfulness Techniques For A Daily Check-In

If you need more guidance to check-in with your self-awareness, you might want to listen to Jason Murphy’s guided mindfulness practices:

  1. Mindful Check-In Jason Murphy 10:27
  2. Grounding Breath to Open Awareness Jason Murphy 29:47
  3. Mindfulness Of The Body Jason Murphy 15:03
  4. Relax Observe Allow Jason Murphy 6:39

Read more: When life becomes stressful or overwhelming we often seek distraction in our smartphones. Discover seven principles of conscious digital device usage which can become part of your daily mindful check-in routine as well.

Meditation. Free.