9 Inner Peace Strategies When Waiting for Hours in the Doctor’s Office

It has happened to you, right?

Hours upon hours lost, wasted, G – O – N – E, while waiting in a doctor’s office.

It can be annoying enough to drive your blood pressure up, up, up!!

Sometimes the waiting happens in the waiting room, where there are televisions and magazines galore to entertain you — along with a room full of other nice people waiting for the same doctor. Other times, you get to wait hours in the examination room. Often, while wearing only a gown with ties that don’t match up in a way make sense – OR cover you up.

So, what is one to do?

Well, one option is to maximize your stress and frustration! Surprised?! You have to admit, this IS one of your options.

Let me remind you how this is done.

Simply RESIST the experience with every cell of your body. Step into victim mode. After all, it IS as though you’re being raped of your time. Focus on how disrespectful the doctor and staff are by having you painfully wait, wait, wait. Focus on the precious time wasted…poof! Focus on the money you could’ve been making or all the brilliant tasks you could’ve accomplished if it weren’t for this inefficient doctor.

If you want to maximize STRESS, fight the waiting. After all, you shouldn’t HAVE to wait, right?

Tip: Use the most dramatic language you can muster up. Word like rape, devastating and excruciating can amplify these efforts. And…resist, resist, resist!

Unfortunately, as common as this option is — this is a self-abusive practice. YOU can only torture you from the inside out.

Since this is a blog about Everyday Inner Peace, here are six strategies for maximizing inner peace while waiting at the doctor’s office — even if it is for hours and hours and hours.

Strategies for Inner Peace:

1. Embrace Reality. The single biggest key to inner peace in ANY moment is simply to ALIGN with reality, NOT fight it.

It’s a well-known fact, the vast majority of doctors run late, sometimes VERY, VERY late. Sometimes we get lucky if we’re a first time patient, but it often worsens from there. We can HOPE to “get in and out quickly” or apply “law of attraction,” but reality is what it is. If we recognize tardiness as part of the “reality” or experience of visiting a physician, we can set ourselves up for maximum inner peace.

2. Let go of your story about how things SHOULD be. The more SHOULDS you have in your life, the less inner peace you’ll have. “Shoulds” argue with reality.

Here are a few shoulds to consider releasing as it relates to visiting the doctor:

* I shouldn’t have to wait this long. (Or I shouldn’t have to wait more than 30 minutes).

* The doctor should be on time.

* The staff should be more friendly and efficient.

* Once I get in the examining room, I shouldn’t have to wait.

* The doctors should not quadruple schedule patients simultaneously.

How do we know what SHOULD be happening? We simply notice what IS happening.

For the vast majority of us, it’s a fantasy to expect to get in and out of many doctor’s office efficiently. Remember, it’s self-abusive to fight reality. (And, if you get lucky with no wait or a short wait, simply be grateful.)

3. Create Space. If you expect the appointment to take 15 minutes, multiply that number by eight and allocate two hours (just like you would for a lengthy spa appointment). Being unrealistic with time is an easy way to throw inner peace out the door. We all know people who constantly over-schedule, and they typically aren’t our most peaceful friends or colleagues.

Giving yourself a time buffer allows inner peace to thrive. Set yourself up for maximum inner peace.

4. Make it a game of inner peace. Decide up front you’re going to expand your sense of peace during these two plus hours.

Imagine there is a game show, and you’ll be awarded $100,000 cash (tax-free) if you can maintain the highest state of inner peace – from the time you leave for your appointment until you return home.

Could you do it?

Of course you could.

Simply apply one or more of these simple principles. As goofy as it sounds, if you made “inner peace” a game — you could find a way to align with the reality.

5. Make the MOST of your time. If you had an undisturbed hour or two on an airplane, how would you use it? Would you read a book or report? Set some goals? Prioritize your day? Write a letter? Listen to your iPod? Meditate?

An engaging book is an easy way for me to enjoy my inner peace while waiting, waiting, waiting. I’ve also been know to bring my notebook, and focus on my objectives for the day or set some fresh goals.

But remember, it’s all about dancing with reality. You may get 15 minutes of delicious space for planning or up to 75 minutes. Be open to either one. Flexibility is key.

6. Twitter. Twitter is a popular social media site where people share “what they are up to”, post quotes, links to blog articles, and exchange ideas. They’ll even empathize with you while you’re waiting in the doctor’s office. If you have an iPhone or another cell phone to interface with Twitter, you’re in luck! I use the application Twitterffic with my iPhone.

Waiting rooms are a fabulous time to read and sending “tweets” to others on Twitter a fantastic way to let time fly in the doctor’s office. All the exchanges on Twitter are done using 140 characters per message, aka “tweets.” This means you can read many, many tweets — whether you have 8 minutes or 48 minutes to wait.

(To learn more about Twitter, download The Twitter Handbook for free. You can follow me HERE. Right now, there are 3 million people on Twitter to keep you company at the doctor’s office.)

7. Practice Stillness. Allow time in the waiting room or examination room to be an opportunity to connect with your inner self. Bask in the peace. Most people complain they don’t have enough “stillness” or silence in their lives. Waiting for doctor’s appointments is a wonderful opportunity to build and practice stillness.

One of my Facebook friends decided to take on this inner peace practice, and now looks forward to visiting the doctor because she knows she’ll also be enjoying sweet stillness.

8. Call ahead. Here’s a practical tip, if you simply prefer not to wait in offices. Another Facebook colleague calls before she heads over to the doctor and asks how far behind they are running for her appointment. She doesn’t arrive until then.

9. Consciously choose. Not all physicians are horrendously tardy. Exercise your freedom to choose another physician who manages their schedule more efficiently.

Most of all, remember inner peace is a choice. Stop the self-abuse, and align with reality. It’ll give you a healthier blood pressure reading too.

I’d love to hear your tips and strategies for maximizing your inner peace while waiting in a doctor’s office…what do you do?


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6 Responses to “9 Inner Peace Strategies When Waiting for Hours in the Doctor’s Office”

  1. Catherine Behan

    Hi Mary,

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I remember years ago when I was stuck in traffic, I peeked at the woman next to me and I just focused some positive energy her way.

    I remember thinking, I could be the only one on the planet who is thinking positively toward this woman at this moment.

    I also reflected on how much I would appreciate anyone’s random good will aimed my way.

    I have made peace with waiting because I figure the people waiting with me have been attracted to me in that moment for a reason.

    Your article reminds that there are countless times when our waiting time can be used productively!

    Thanks for the Peace Reminder!


  2. Sue Rumack

    I have a way of going to a quiet room in my mind, that allows me to clear stress, focus positive energy on family and friends. Those gifted moments when I am forced to stop doing what I normally do, are used to calm my mind and slow down my generally frenetic energy.

    I used to get upset, but realized that sometimes the Universe places me somewhere that I have no control over, so I let the Universe lead. That’s when I say thank you and remember the gratitude and appreciation that is due for the gifts that we sometimes don’t ask for.

    Enjoy InJoy
    Sue Rumack
    Portal to Positivity Transitions Coaching

  3. Gary Patton

    Hey Mary;

    Great suggestions for managing the distress created by someone else and over which you have little control.

    Here’s another “practical action” that allows one to use the control available to, perhaps, minimize a repeat …even with Doctors & Dentists.

    10. Hold Your Doctor Accountable

    When you get in to see him/her, tell the Doctor how you REALLY feel. Ask her/him not to overbook. Mention the numerous professionals you deal with who charge as much but don’t keep their clients waiting. One professional I read about, billed his Doctor at his normal hourly rate for unreasonable time he was kept waiting, And remember …

    Without consequences, people will not change their behaviour.


  4. Mary Allen

    Beautiful comments and suggestions. Gary, I especially appreciate you for naming such an important addition.

    Telling the Doctor how you REALLY feel is an excellent way to positively influence the situation.

    Funny, last Friday…that didn’t occur to me. And, as she walked in one hour late and said,”sorry to keep you waiting” — I did the automatic response of, “It’s okay.”

    The reality was — it was NOT okay. Next time, I’m going to boldly and courageously express how I really feel and mention the other professionals who don’t keep their clients waiting.

    So true…without consequences, people will not change their behavior.


  5. Col @ life by muse

    WONDERFUL ideas Mary! I love it! Great responses too … you have awesome readers!

    Y’know, if there was a game show giving away a million bucks I KNOW the vast majority of us could do almost ANYTHING we needed to do that we “think” we “can’t” do, right?



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