Waiting is the bane of modern living. Whether waiting in line, at the doctor’s office, for a baby to be delivered, for Christmas, for a phone call, forÂ 5pmÂ on Friday, or whatever, waiting drives us mad. But does it have to be that way? Well it depends on your perspective, circumstances, and how you choose to react. The truth is you have the power to transform waiting into a gift.
For many of us in modern society, when faced with waiting, the reaction is automatic and self-destructive. We get tense, irritated, angry, frustated, etc. Can you relate? We start complaining in our head and to others around us. We start thinking that time is being wasted. We focus on the things we could or should be doing instead causing a flood of resentment. The end result is higher blood pressure, headaches, muscle tension, and buildup of toxic chemicals inside our body. And did it change our wait? Nope. Did the waiting cause these problems? No, the negative side effects stem from how we chose to react. The good news is once you become aware, you can stop this destructive pattern.
How to Make Waiting Work for You
1. Change Your Perspective. Make a choice to see waiting as an opportunity, a gift of time, that you can use for some positive result for you or others. Instead of focusing on things you could/should be doing instead, consider how this time can be a gift for you. Consider how you are being relieved of duty for the moment
2. Deep Breathing. When that automatic reaction starts to happen, the first thing to do is to take several deep breaths. This is really good for you because it will release the tension that has been building up in you while you weren’t paying attention. The difference between this and “huffing and puffing” is your intention. With deep breathing your intention is to release tension. With huffing and puffing it is like blowing up a stress balloon inside yourself, holding in and increasing your aggravation. Deep breathing is done with a sense of letting it all out.
3. Work with the Wait Time, Don’t Fight It. Ask yourself “What can I do right now that would make this time good for me or for others?” Here are some examples of what you can do during waiting time.
Plan (in your head or on paper)
Create (ideas, art, knitting, etc)
Read (book, magazine, online with cellphone)
Draw or Doodle
Call a friend
ObviouslyÂ circumstancesÂ will dictate which of these things are feasible. Look for ways to modify them to your circumstances, though, instead of ruling them out completely.Â
4. If You Are Uncomfortable or in Pain While Waiting. Seek to alleviate the discomfort if possible. If that’s not feasible, then try distracting yourself with something. If that doesn’t work then seek to find peace amidst the discomfort. Use deep breathing. Don’t actively fret about your pain or discomfort. Attempt, instead, toÂ observe it as if you were an outsider. In other words become immersed in it and assume a zen like state of being in the moment. Everything is temporary. Remind yourself that it won’t last forever. Depending on your level of discomfort this can be quite challenging, and at the same time quite rewarding.Â You will discover strength you didn’t know you had. In the end, your waiting time may still be uncomfortable, but you won’t be making it worse with building frustration.
Read more about changing your perspective towards events in your life beyond waiting in this article by my blogging friend Edward MillsÂ at Evolving Times. Learn how to stop labeling things as “bad” and find the good in everything.Â The articleÂ is really eye opening and will make a difference in your life starting today. I’m sure once you visit his blog, you’ll probably want to subscribe!
What are your best tips for when you have to wait? All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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