I had the joy of spending an hour of my life in our local GPs waiting room today. Noah has been waking up at night coughing recently and I decided it really was time to get it checked out.
Waiting rooms can be a thing of nightmares. Piles of magazines that are years out of date. Sickly people all too close together in an environment that is slightly too warm. No mobile phone signal so no phone entertainment. Everyone glued to the screen that announces who is to be called in next.
Added to this challenging scene is often a great deal of frustration that arises because of the waiting. Waiting on the phone being told that you are number 24 in queue. Waiting to check in with the receptionist who is insistent she needs to know what your ailment is. Waiting to be called in when you are sure people who arrived after you have already been called in. Then we often add to these frustrations by becoming frustrated with ourselves for being frustrated!
So the answer?…mindfulness of course!
Learn to use all of these waiting times as opportunities. Whether you are standing or sitting this can be the perfect opportunity for a body scan. Start at the top of your head and check in with every part of your body on the way down. Pay special attention to the areas of your body that are most likely to hold tension like the jaw, shoulders and the knees. Notice any sensations that are present, any sense of your own mood, think of the potential benefit to others of you doing this exercise.
If you discover any aches in your body or difficult thoughts in your mind then often acknowledging them is enough to allow them to fade. Rather than trying to push them away allow the mind to hover on the feeling and before you know it your mind will have wandered. Then bring your attention back to the scan.
We spend so much of our lives rushing about in a haze that when we are forced to stop and wait it can drive us crazy. Actually, it may really be just what we need, if only we can recognise it as the opportunity that it is. Taking just a couple of minutes to check in with our bodies and to listen to our breath as we do it can really make all the difference to our day. Rather than leaving like a whirlwind you can walk out of there more calmly than you went in.
Come on a Revitalise Day to learn more techniques to train your brain. Learn how to make the most of the moments that have previously frustrated you and made you feel like you were waisting precious time. Value your time.