The Anxiety of Waiting is Torture.
One of the most frustrating experiences is having to wait. We wait to catch a bus or train. We wait in traffic jams. We wait at the doctor’s surgeries or job interviews. We wait at the car mechanic garages. We wait, and wait and wait some more.
However, people who have anxiety find waiting to be very overwhelming. An example of this is waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for a text message, or waiting for someone to arrive.
One needs patience to wait. One need s to have a high tolerance threshold and people who suffer from anxiety and depression do experience short fuses. Waiting for an answer, feeling uncertain and insecure, and not having any confidence are all contributing factors to having anxiety that can feel like torture.
For me as an example on the 1st of this month gone, I get a text message from my landlord that he wants to call round to sign a new tenancy agreement, even though I had already told him I was feeling unwell and was not up to visitors, even going as far as sending him to free digital signature software to sign documents online. Anyway, he insists he wants to do this face to face, even though I want as little human interaction as possible in which he is oblivious to my request and it has simply gone over his head. So the text message said he will be calling around and I replied he needed to give me some notice and now everything has gone silent….
I just want it over and done with and do not want it hanging over my head. I do not want to see him and the anxiety of the anticipation of his arrival is driving me crazy, not only that he is bringing someone with him as a witness, so even more human interaction.
Many people lose their patience, become bored, anxious, and angry. I personally am fuming. Not only has he increased my rent he also wants to be demanding and turn up even though I have told him I am unwell.
The amount of time that passes while waiting is often a matter of perception. One of the factors that can make a wait feel endless is awareness of time. A minute can feel like a second or vice versa if you are anxious it can feel like an eternity. If you have ever watched the clock timer on a microwave count down, you can see how time drags.
If waiting is partly a matter of perception, there are things you can do to make the time go faster.
1. If you know you have to wait at a bus or train station bring something with you to occupy your mind. This can be a book and iPad or knitting. This type of distraction will help and make you feel less likely to feel bored and restless and agitated.
2. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, listen to music or the news while keeping an eye on the road. Music helps to calm you down and soothe your emotions.
3. Standing in line in a queue before social distancing one could start small talk and chat with the next person, but with the pandemic regulations it has become more difficult and one needs to have patience in slow-moving lines at the post office or bank. The best way now to pass the time is to go on your phone (providing you have a smartphone).
4. Practicing deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, (these can be done without attracting attention), can relieve a lot of anxiety and stress and improve self-control. This can be done indoors and outdoors and I am finding I am taking a leaf out of my book with this as I really want to pick up the phone to my landlord and yell profanities.
Obviously, in the ideal world, you should not become enraged. However, people who have mental health issues such as I find it hard to control their anger. Getting mad only makes matters worse and I have no choice but to ride the tide. Getting angry will not speed up time and will only result in raised blood pressure, ulcers, and, ultimately, heart disease and even worse a heart attack.
For me venting my anger out via my blogs helps to ground me and get things off my chest.
What is your way of dealing with waiting and do you have patience and how do you cope?
Leave your comments below.