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.
How do you respond when you’re required to wait? Are you able to wait with ease? I would love to hear in the comments.
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! Until next time, may you be well, happy, and safe – always. With love, Sandra