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10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

We live in a society based on instant gratification. Hungry? A microwave will have you eating in minutes. Getting your dream car is a simple matter of signing up for debt. And months of pining for a perfumed reply from your true love is replaced by a simple click on send/receive. Life has become convenient, but are we better off for it? Here are 10 things we miss out on by not be willing to wait.

1. Priorities become clear

More than ever, we find ourselves bombarded with opportunities and possibilities. It’s easy to get sucked into too many activities that have nothing to do with your purpose and drain your energy, time and resources. Waiting is the perfect vaccine for those things that have no place in your life. The ‘meant-to-be’s’ have built-in staying power that distractions don’t. Given time, temporary things will drop out of your life effortlessly, leaving you free to focus on that which is truly you. Time has a beautiful way of sifting the important from the fluff.

2. Develop perseverance

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable -Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Perseverance is defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. Did you catch the sneaky little keyword there? A swimmer builds muscles by putting in hours in the water, a body builder pushes ever-increasing weights and us…we stick at what we want to do. Then we get up tomorrow and do it again. We keep on until we reach our goals. Persevering builds our emotional, physical and spiritual muscles so when we crack the goal we’ve been aiming at, we are equipped for the demands of the new season. We’ve been trained by the process of persevering. That kind of toughening up cannot happen in a day, or by popping a pill. It takes time.

3. Productive habits

Whatever you are waiting for–whether it be a spouse, a book deal, or a promotion–your waiting time need not be wasted time. Start making the changes now. Rearrange your schedule to accommodate what you are working towards. Don’t be scared to shift priorities, move furniture, set your alarm an hour earlier each morning. Do whatever you feel would help position yourself for the breakthrough you are waiting for.

4. Understanding yourself

There are high and low points in all our lives, yet these are not what define us. The best place to find out who we really are, is in the sticky bits in between the two. It’s in the slog of daily living that we discover our greatest strengths and weaknesses. Embrace normal life; don’t fight it. Knowing who you are while you’re up to your elbows in soap suds and floating leftovers will keep you grounded when success comes.

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5. Rest & regroup

Allow yourself downtime. Sleep until you’re finished; take walks in the fresh air. Ride a bicycle and read a book. Recharge your soul with things that feed you. Learn a new recipe, plant a tree. Break out of the mold that life has you trapped in. Waiting creates space in your life, precious time to get in touch with what is going on inside you. It creates space to come to grips with what makes your heart beat faster–what is important to you. Don’t waste it by filling it with rushing or busyness.

6. Patience

Did you grow up wearing hand-knitted sweaters made with love by your granny? It’s becoming more rare by the generation. Knitting takes patience, and there are few things left in our highly efficient society that are geared towards growing patience in us. Waiting is one of them. Like any classroom full of scholars, there are some who resist learning and others who embrace it. If life has you in a headlock and you know you’re going to be there for some time, use your energy wisely–don’t fight it; embrace it.

7. Resourcefulness

The process of waiting is often linked to lacking something. Think about it. If you’re waiting to meet your life partner, you are missing having a significant other. An empty fridge is a sure sign of someone waiting for payday, and someone hankering after a promotion does so because they are hungry for a challenge, a boost in self-esteem, or a bigger paycheck. Waiting forces us to work with what we have in hand. This sounds terrifying, but once you shift your mind, it becomes liberating. Start to see things around, and inside you, with different eyes. It’s an adventure to make do with what you have, and not rush out to buy something new at the first twinge of lack. Try it! You’ll surprise yourself with your resourcefulness.

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8. Tolerance and empathy

Getting exactly what you want, when you want it, is not always a good thing. Ask any mom. Continual immediate gratification over a long period of time can sow seeds of entitlement and pride. When these mindsets are allowed to take root and grow, the end result is not pretty. On the other hand, waiting is a great humbler. A humble person is aware of the struggles of others and can empathize with their troubles. In short, waiting can make you a better person.

9. Capacity

Waiting will lead you through situations you don’t believe you can cope with. You will come out the other side stronger, more capable and with a shot of Vitamin C to your self-confidence. We are not built to be rescued at the first sign of discomfort. How would we have learned to walk if those caring for us had been too worried to put such strain on our leg muscles? Waiting is hard. It is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and makes us face things about ourselves that we’d rather avoid. But if we let it, it stretches us beyond what we think our limits are, and there we discover there was a whole lot more to us than we ever knew.

10. Gratitude

Once you bend your head around the fact that waiting is your friend, and not your enemy, some important things will shift in your head. Instead of being frustrated by delays, you can be grateful for them, make the most of each one and soar through your time of waiting. On the other side of it, you will see how much has been grown in your character even though it felt like nothing was happening at the time. Now that is something to be grateful for.

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Featured photo credit: beautiful young girl resting in a cafe via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

Learning how to live a stress free life may seem impossible, but the truth is that there are specific things you can do to begin eliminating sources of stress.

No, it doesn’t look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesn’t look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your life—but without any self-created stress triggers.

Here are 11 ways to help you live a stress-free life:

1. Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Haven’t Happened

The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. It’s easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.

First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it won’t surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.

If that’s really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.

Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?

If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.

2. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems

The whole advantage of other people having problems is that they aren’t your problems. When you frequently take on other people’s problems, you get into the habit of enabling.

Let’s get crystal clear about the definition of enabling: enabling is the art of continuing to take responsibility for other people, thereby disallowing their personal responsibility[1].

It is of no service to other people to take on their problems because they can’t/won’t/don’t know how to fix the problem.

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It is of service to empower others to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, to encourage, teach, and motivate others to address their own problems. So stop enabling, and start empowering.

3. Get Present in the Moment

Being present in the moment involves being in your body and feeling your feelings—two things that lots of folks actually don’t know how to do.

Ask yourself these two questions: What does fear feel like in your body? What are you afraid of?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you probably aren’t present in the moment. Being present involves vulnerability, humility, and openness[2].

How to live a stress free life by being present

    The past and the future stop being so relevant and intriguing when you’re able to get in your body and feel your feelings. When you can do these two things, you actually want to be in the present moment.

    To get started, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and watch your stress levels drop. Then, try these tips: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

    4. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t

    The easiest way to stop focusing on what you don’t have is by not watching TV commercials. Marketing teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and advertising campaigns spend millions of dollars convincing us that we must have what we don’t yet have.

    Can you think of a marketing campaign that teaches you to enjoy what you already have without buying something to enhance it? Odds are you can’t.

    In a world dictated by Super Bowl commercials and Facebook ads, it takes stalwart focus to recognize what you have more than what you don’t. If you want a stress-free life now, get stalwart, and stop letting other people dictate your focus.

    In order to do this, try cultivating a gratitude practice to help refocus your mind toward what is good in your life. You can get started with this guide.

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    5. Stop Surrounding Yourself With People Who Don’t Make You Happy

    Honestly, what kind of people do you really like to be around with? People who get you, who see you clearly, who accept your flaws and all; people you can be yourself with; people who have shared interests?

    How many of those people are in your life? What characteristics do all of the other people in your life have?

    If you find that the people in your life aren’t adding anything positive, it may be time to make some changes. If you find that other relationships you have are downright toxic, start working to cut out those relationships immediately.

    6. Find a Job That Makes You Feel Good

    You don’t have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a week—or 2,000 to 4,000 hours a year—working. That is a significant investment!

    If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something (or someone) that wasn’t going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You won’t be stress-free unless you don’t learn this[3].

    Here’re 11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job.

    7. Only Take on What You Can Handle

    Busyness is an addiction. Slowing down can actually be terrifying because it causes you to notice that you have feelings that you now have time to feel.

    I get it.

    By the time I slowed down, I had decades of busyness under my belt. I went into a tailspin depression because I didn’t understand how to be in the right relationship with my own emotions.

    When I finally figured out that feelings are just feelings and allowing them to express themselves is healthy and natural, I stopped experiencing withdrawal from my addiction to busyness and started figuring out the pace of life that felt best for me.

    Remarkably, I discovered that I don’t actually like being busy. What will you discover about yourself?

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    8. Let Go of Grudges and Anger

    For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!

    No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.

    One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably haven’t been affected at all.

    Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.

    Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

    9. Stop Reliving Your Past

    To live a stress-free life, you have to stop reliving your past. I know it seems like fun to compare everything in your present to your past, and to experience the present through past-colored glasses, but it actually isn’t.

    When you wear past-colored glasses, you can’t truly experience the present for what it is. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets compared to a list of expectations and failed relationships rather than recognized for the unique blessing they are in your life.

    Your boss gets compared to all the bosses who came before her/him. Your friends’ ability to parent gets compared to your parents’ ability to parent.

    People, including you, deserve to stand on their own past-free merit.

    10. Don’t Complain About Things You Can’t Change

    There are always going to be people elected into office whom you don’t like, taxes that you don’t want to pay, idiot drivers who refuse to move out of the left-hand lane, and a person ahead of you in the check-out line who won’t stop chatting with the clerk.

    The great benefit of being human is that we get to experience all of what life offers us. To live stress-free is to learn to deal with this fact.

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    Dwelling on your frustration with something that can’t be changed doesn’t do anything other than drag you down. You are the only person who will ultimately decide how to respond to what is.

    11. Stop Living Through Other People’s Lives

    Someone else’s life is not your life. Your life is your life.

    What that means is you get to live your life in the way you want. You get to make ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person.

    Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.

    Stop living through social media, trying to soak in all of the experiences everyone else is having. Focus, instead, on what it feels like to be you in this moment. You may find you like it.

    Final Thoughts

    An astounding thing happens when you reduce stress and anxiety, get into a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, and just be yourself without judgment.

    Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You begin to live in each moment, and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.

    You move fluidly, steadily, calmly, and gratefully. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born through improved mental health. And this is how you live a stress-free life.

    More Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

    Featured photo credit: Drew Coffman via unsplash.com

    Reference

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