The Power of Pause: Finding Calm in the Tech Storm

The Power of Pause: Finding Calm in the Tech Storm

Written by Santhalakshmi Ananthakrishnan


Pause from whatever you’re doing and join me for a moment of mindfulness….

You may be a career explorer, navigator, adapter, reinventor, or pathfinder. Regardless, one thing is sure: crafting a tech career can be incomprehensibly tricky. Breaking in, surviving, and growing in the field are massive challenges in their own respects. As if we’re not already overwhelmed by the never-ending innovation of tools, technologies, and frameworks on Cloud platforms, the lightning speed at which language-learning models (LLMs) and AI applications are continuously launched in the market is nothing short of a cyclic trigger to our sympathetic nervous system daily. 

If you believe I’ve made you feel worse, please be patient and humor me for a moment (Tip: Enable voice modulation in your brain to hear my words in the soothing voice of Sir David Attenborough). 

Follow this guided meditation for a moment of calm in the tech storm: 

Feel your heartbeat, notice where your self-awareness is; you may be lost in a GitHub repository, preoccupied with a looming code drop or deployment deadline, or struggling to stay caught up on some technical certification training. 

Wherever you are, bring yourself to this moment and find an anchor. By ‘anchor,’ I mean your breath, your heartbeat, or simply your feet on the floor. Tune in to yourself and notice the way your breath feels. Try not to change it. Stay with it. Notice how the moment you notice your breath, it has already changed. That is the nature of everything; change is the only thing that never changes. Clouds always pass… 

Continue to stay with your breath for the next two minutes. Take a deep breath in and exhale. And repeat that. Notice your mood, emotions, or any sensation. Maybe even stare out of the window. If there is no window in sight, use your imagination and in your mind’s eye, look toward a faraway place like a beach or a park, and dig your feet into the sand or the  grass.”

If you immersed yourself in your imagination and lost track of this blog, I am glad you got to meditate by anchoring and perhaps daydreaming. It is the very point of this blog post. I want to show you a glimpse of how mindfulness meditation works. Even if it did not feel like it worked this time, it will in due course. It is a process. It is a needed pause and recess for your brain and body. It is essential for your mental health. 

So, no matter how vital the next meeting is, remember to take a breath break before, after a standup, or between a brainstorming session; certainly do more than once when you are in the war room. 

This may be asking a lot. An ideal workplace would give you space and time to take breath breaks. In theory, organizations speak about prioritizing mental health and provide aides and guidelines; however, the internal operations and companywide culture are the real yardstick that reveals their true priorities. 

If enough of us learn to take breath breaks, we may respect others taking the pause. We might encourage our peers to take a break when we find them anxious and unaware that they are caught by it. We can all be each other’s partners in finding balance and helping one another navigate the usual cloud of anxiety and doubts. 

So go ahead and take a breath break as needed and remember to encourage others to take a moment to ascend above the fleeting cloud (a.k.a., thoughts, emotions, and feelings) to the clear blue sky (a.k.a., the here and the now). 
Aside from my day job as a Technical Product Manager, I find myself useful in the realm of yoga and meditation. If you want to explore a regular practice, join my ongoing 30-minute mindfulness virtual series for the WWCode community. Register here.

Learn more about Santhalakshmi Ananthakrishnan and connect with her via LinkedIn.