Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

How to Get Tiny Bursts of Stress Relief All Day Long

Tiny Bursts of Stress Relief

Recently, I took advantage of a short wait at the dentist to close my eyes, relax my body, and let go of stress.

How do you respond when you’re required to wait?  Be honest with yourself.

  • Do you get impatient, bored, or restless?
  • Do you turn to a digital device to keep your mind busy or stave off the feeling of too much to do?
  • Do you turn to a magazine or the television screen to distract yourself?

Waiting can often be the perfect time to relax, release, and ease stress or tension in your body or mind.   If you find yourself waiting, instead of reaching for your phone, try one of these approaches:

  • If you’re waiting in line, feel your feet connected to the earth.  Scan your body for tension.  Then allow all the tension to melt and flow through your feet into the earth.
  • If you’re waiting for an appointment like I was, take the time to pause and focus on your breath.  Simply notice your breath as it enters and exists your nostrils.  Thoughts will arise and attempt to take you away.  See if you can let them dissolve on their own without following after them and creating a chain of new thoughts triggered by the original one.
  • If you’re waiting for your spouse or child, instead of working up a frenzy of impatience, sit down and use the opportunity to simply be present.  Notice the thoughts and emotions that are moving through your mind without reacting to them and thus making them bigger.  Or open your senses and notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you with a light awareness that doesn’t create preferences about them.

We’re all required to wait at times.  Waiting can easily trigger distress.  Before you know it, you’re deep into frustration or feel like you’re going to jump out of your skin.

But, you don’t have to go there.  You can enjoy a moment of personal rest instead.

Turn Waiting Time Into Ease Time

This week, practice putting your waiting time to good use.  Each time you’re asked to wait, use one of the approaches above or one you create yourself to move away from stress and into ease.

People often say they’re too busy to find time for stress reduction.  If that’s the case for you, try capturing these regular opportunities for stress relief, and see if they make a difference for you.

For fun, you might want to create a log of the number of times you were expected to wait each day.  This will help you see how many times a day you have the opportunity for nourishing dose of stress relief.


P. S.  My e-course, Living with Ease, The Mindful Way to Less Stress, offers a complete roadmap for dissolving stress and preventing it from overwhelming you again.  The course combines mindfulness, self-inquiry, and supportive stress reduction techniques to help you give stress the boot.  Check out the course details here.


Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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14 Comments

  1. I always welcome the extra reading time that waiting gives me, Sandra. If I have to wait in a grocery store line, I take a magazine off the rack and find something interesting to read in it, and if I am going to a doctor’s office, I always take the book I am reading now and love the extra time that I am given to sit and read. Delicious! :). The only times I have been uncomfortable waiting is when I am worried that something has happened to the person I am waiting for.

  2. Beautiful, Jean! You know how to use these gaps in an enriching way. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sure it will inspire others. Love to you.

  3. Being impatient for much of my life, some time ago I turned waiting into a trigger to be mindful, soften, check in with my breath and check out my surroundings. I still find a rising urge to “check in” with social media from time to time.

    Thank you for this “tiny burst” of stress relief!

  4. I began practicing mindfulness when stuck in driving some years ago Sandra and discovered that it felt so much better than allowing my impatience and sometimes annoyance to run away with me!

    Standing in a queue at the bank last week, I started out somewhat impatiently but remembered to fill myself with love and amazingly enough the queue disappeared in a blink of an eye and I had an easy happy experience.

    It definitely works and I appreciate the reminder to practice this ‘tiny burst’ of stress relief in other places, especially the dentist’s office! 🙂

    • How wonderful to have this ability to fill yourself with love, Elle. What a marvelous way to use waiting time. And it sounds like you have your waiting time when driving down like a charm. I’m so happy for you. The dentist is a really good place to relax, isn’t it!

  5. This is a lovely perspective on the usual way we think of this ‘dead time’ – I love this flip in perspective. I travel a huge amount, so sure there will be plenty of time for me to practice with this!

    • I’m glad you like the idea, Ellen. I hope you enjoy those moment of waiting as you travel in a new way now. I appreciate your thoughts.

  6. Good tips, Sandra. A helpful reminder that any time can be used to help our minds help us.

  7. Thank you…practiced faithfully this “little” switch in thinking will be a life changer.

  8. This is such a wonderful post, Sandra, because it makes those moments throughout our days more conscious. I use the time to rest my eyes, my mind, or to connect with someone sitting next to me. I often meet the most AMAZING people in the seemingly most unlikely places. I’ve been through so much in my life that in reading your article I realized, for the first time, that I no longer separate “waiting time” from all other moments. They ALL are just another opportunity for a gift, for another moment to experience Life within myself or around myself (in the world). It might be a vase of flowers, birds singing, children playing, a lonely looking elder woman sitting next me that I sense needs some human connection, and so on. I don’t treat ANY moment as an “impersonal moment”. All moments are personal and intimate and amazing….if we allow them to be so. Even if it’s at the dentist, the doctor, the motor vehicle dept, the grocery store, or the bank. We are not separate from any of it or “them”. That is why your post is SO important because all of your suggestions helps us to not only slow down, but to be more fully in each moment….whether we decide to CHOOSE to sleep, read, rest, dream or connect, we are better able to make a conscious choice. I LOVE how you see into and express so many of Life’s details that are so real and so human to all of us. Bless your beautiful, wise heart. I just love you!!!

    • This is an amazing insight and perspective, Robin: “I realized, for the first time, that I no longer separate “waiting time” from all other moments. They ALL are just another opportunity for a gift, for another moment to experience Life within myself or around myself (in the world).” I just love the way you are seeing the world as one unfolding, seamless experience not entirely limited by time. I also appreciate all moments as personal moments.

      It really all comes down to personal choice, doesn’t it! Love you tons!

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