6 ways to stop your waiting anxiety

You’ve focused on something. You’ve put something at stake. But for some reason, the passion and drive you’ve thrown into the proverbial “ring” isn’t being rewarded. As my roommate Shana aptly put it—“we always want what we can’t have. We live for the chase, and indulge in the glimpses of possibility.   We get a taste and only hunger for more when the adrenaline sets in.” Why is this? Why does it feel like we are continually waiting?

According to an article called The Psychology of Waiting, “unoccupied time seems longer than occupied time” and  waiting solo seems longer than waiting with a group. Its lonely-waiting.  Its also rough not getting this kind of attention or what you want, especially when it is so important to you. No matter what it is, a date, a job, a person to text you back, an apartment, a performance contract, it is hard waiting endlessly.  Sadly, a watched pot never boils.

In this exact moment in time, I am waiting to get an important work call. A friend is waiting to hear back from a job interview (and texting me relentlessly about it). Another friend is waiting to hear from a date that she had to see if his feelings are as strong as hers (and I’m fielding her texts, too). Even more friends are waiting to hear back about auditions they had to see if they booked work. It seems like everyone I know is waiting on something. Waiting is the most aggravating thing in the world. I’m not Catholic, but purgatory seems much worse than any other option.

Waiting is the most aggravating thing in the world.

I usually find myself going stir crazy when I’m just waiting. I am not good at just sitting and doing nothing. The watched pot doesn’t boil, so you have to go off and do something else, and let the rest take care of itself. Eventually the rest of the world will catch up to you and come through for you, but until then, you just have to get through the waiting.


How to get through this:

1)   No matter the situation you have to stop focusing on it. All of your attention on it will only make it seem bigger, more important, and more detrimental when you don’t get what you want. Also it makes the time drag by.

2)   Put your focus somewhere similar. If it’s a job you’re applying for, go send out more applications to other jobs. If it’s a text you’re waiting for, go put your energy towards another person; how long has it been since you called your parents? If it’s a living situation, go look at other places. Putting your energy into similar things, pulls energy toward you. Think of it as this: When kids are in the sandbox, everyone wants the pail so they can make castles, but if one kid decides he doesn’t want the pail anymore and then starts using the shovel and starts making his own pile of sand with the shovel, then the focus starts to be on the one who is making progress. Eventually, most will abandon the focus on the pail, leaving it up for grabs. They’re all still in the sandbox, they’re all still making sand castles, but the need for the pail is lifted, making it available.

3)   Realize the first step is that you have no control over other people and the way the world turns. You just don’t. Give it up to whatever diety you believe (or don’t believe) in. Know that you have no control, no matter how long you stare at your phone, or refresh your email, or watch the clock tick. You just don’t have control. And that’s ok. Just breathe. Life will go on either way.

You just don’t have control. And that’s ok. Just breathe. Life will go on either way.

4)   Don’t plan your life around it. Continue to live. Go out with friends, go to the gym, go plan a menu and go grocery shopping. Don’t sit and marathon tv shows!! Get moving! If you sit around just waiting for something to do, time drags, and you’ll continually think about how nothing is happening. Create movement. You’ll attract movement as well… so maybe if you get out and do things, what you’re waiting on will sense the movement and start moving, too.

5)   Focus on yourself. In this time that you’re waiting, think about things to do for yourself, or that you need to accomplish. Do you want to do a facemask? Reorganize your junk drawer? Make appointments for personal things? Go focus on you! If you make yourself important, and you view yourself that way, others will too! You will attract the energy. So go focus on yourself for a bit!

6)   Know that whatever is happening to halt the incoming has nothing to do with you. I mean it does because you want it, but there are other people and other factors in the world. There are other people and other factors in play. We just have to wait for other people to take care of their business or lives, and then get back to us. They might be reading over lots of applications, or working, or having their own crisis. Just because they’re not getting back to you doesn’t absolutely mean that they’re antagonizing you on purpose or need more from you. Just leave them be! They’ll get back to you when they can.

Desire is great; it drives us. Adrenaline powers us, but at the same time it can make life worse. If you’re not getting what you want, just keep moving forward. It might not be the right time for what you want. I’d love to keep writing… but my work call came in, because I focused on something else. So, I’ve got to go, but let us know what you’re secret to beating waiting is, below!


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6 thoughts on “6 ways to stop your waiting anxiety

  1. Waiting is just all of the worst, isn’t it? But you gave some really great tips on how to get past it without going full-on loony tunes. I always try to redirect my energy and thoughts to something positive (i.e. new music, painting my nails a funky color, talking to a friend), plan for whenever the thing you’re waiting for does happen, and most importantly–which you talked about–realize that IT IS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL. Sometimes you just have to ride the wave and enjoy the ride, as much as you can. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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