Don’t You Just Hate Waiting?

 In Better Life, Focusing on the positive

Don’t you just hate waiting?  I get so impatient.  It seems like such a waste of time when I have so many things I need to do.  My biggest pet peeves are waiting on hold on the phone to get a customer service person or getting stuck in a traffic jam.  It seems like both of these end up being so long.  I can find my self getting more and more frustrated.

Then I realized I could shift my perspective.  Instead of thinking of waiting as an inconvenience (or worse), I could think of it as a mini break from my normally busy schedule that could serve as an opportunity to take time for something positive – specifically I could use these times for a quick gratitude practice.

So now, when I’m waiting –

  • for a red light,
  • in line at the drive through
  • in line at the checkout
  • on hold on the phone
  • at the doctor’s or dentist’s office
  • in a traffic jam

I try to use it as a reminder to be grateful.  For example, if I’m in my car, I might think about how grateful I am that the price of gas is so low; that I have a comfortable vehicle to drive; that I can adjust the temperature in my car to be comfortable; that I enjoy where I live, etc.  It’s interesting that I’ve tried keeping a gratitude journal, but this approach has worked much better for me.

When I practice a little gratitude while I wait, I find it lifts my spirits and makes the wait seem much shorter.   I also know that I am reinforcing those positive neural pathways in my brain so it will continue to get easier to notice the good – even while I wait. . .  It’s not a waste of time after all!


Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is founder and owner of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.

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