How often is it that we stand in a queue, or are waiting for an appointment and we become impatient. I always notice that people, including myself, tend to distract ourselves with either our mobile phones, reading posters or flyers, or by getting annoyed that the queue is long.
I guess the appeal of pulling out our phone is easier, we can check the latest news feed on facebook, insta or we can even let everyone know how annoyed we are with waiting by posting a status. “#can this queue be any longer!”
I am definitely one of the people that shift from foot to foot, waiting, observing, silently getting irritated that the shop assistant isn’t going fast enough.
But wait a minute? Where do I have to go so quickly? Yes I know, I have that mental checklist which I’m working through for today. House clean? Check, Emails followed up? Check, Washing done? Check, Supermarket? Nope not yet check!
I can use these moments where I usually respond with irritation and annoyance as a chance to practice mindfulness. I am going to try being patience and accepting of this opportunity.
But while I stand in the queue I’m making a mental note that there are 4 people in front of me. It’s so easy to start thinking about the length of time I am waiting. I need to stop making mental notes, so what if the lady in front has a whole trolley full and I only have a basket of small items.
Let me get into the mindframe, come into the now how Kim Davies has suggested. I am attempting to become more aware of what this moment has to offer.
I am bringing back my awareness to what is going on around me, I can see someone is attempting to queue job, Naughty naughty. What are these two ladies behind me talking about. Am I being nosey? ooohhh Fox Christmas biscuit pack for £3 its huge, What a bargain! Into my basket you go!
Back to being present, so what am I irritated about? Am I still irriated or impatient? Well no. I’m ok now. I’m feeling calmer, maybe the biscuits have already helped? I am seeing what items are around me, eaves dropping into other peoples conversations.
The initial irritation I felt was more annoyance at having to wait. But i’m accepting that this is what I have to do to get the items I want. I fell for their marketing technique of purchasing more items then I came for but I am aware of that and I’m okay with it.
While I am waiting there is another technique I can try called; get into your feet. I am attempting to bring attention to the soles of my feet and their contact with the ground. What can I feel? I can feel the soft cushion of my insoles. The hard floor underneath my shoes.
To Enhance the physical sensation I can lift the heel of one foot off the floor and bring all my weight onto the other. Bit like I am already doing while I shift from one foot to the other. But now I’m more aware that I am doing this as before I wasn’t and it is a way of releasing some of the irritation I am feeling in my body.
So how easy is it to adopt the waiting game? I felt my attention was more on how long the queue was taking But when I asked myself the question; “What was causing the irritation?” It was that mental checklist.
The mental checklist is something that we all fall victim of. Where we try to achieve as much productive things as we can. This adds pressure to our day and when we aren’t achieving the things we want then comes the annoyed, irritation feelings. I also find that going through these checklists at times even when i’m doing one thing, i’m worrying about the upcoming task.
I felt accepting this process helped, I need to be in a queue to purchase the items I need. Acceptance helped me get past the annoyed feeling. Also bringing myself into the moment just for a while helped me calm down.
Grounding does help to stop the inner dialogue I have going on. Maybe next time you see yourself getting irritated or annoyed with waiting why not try asking the question: “What is it that I am feeling annoyed about?” “Where is this feeling coming from?”
It is something that can be easily incorporated into our day, whenever were waiting so I will be using this more often. What about you?