Jennifer Westcott, MA, LMFT View Entire Blog

Can Impatience Be Turned Into Inner Peace?

Standing in line, stuck in traffic, waiting in a doctor’s office; all of these situations can cause great anxiety and frustration. The stagnant time and inactivity can rev our system into a fury. We often get into the pattern of thought that tells us, “My time could be spent doing something more important than this!” I want to challenge that thought. Is it possible to use these moments to go inward and establish a moment of inner peace?

Take for instance standing in line. The next time you are waiting in line somewhere try this activity of getting in touch with your breathing and our body, all the while releasing anxiety.


This exercise is a tensing and releasing of muscle groups in combination with four count breathing. All tensing and releasing should be done to the count of four. Repeat breathing after each release.

· Start with curling your toes inward to the count of four and then release.

· Breathe in through your nose to the count of four and then out to the count of four.

· Tense the muscles in your right leg from your calves through your glutes.

· Repeat the four count breathing. Notice where your breath goes and how your abdomen rises and falls with the breath.

· Tense the muscles in your left leg from your calves through your glutes.

· Notice the tension starting to fade with each release.

· Tighten the abdominal muscles as if you where pulling your belly button closer to your spine.

· Release and repeat breathing.

· If you are not holding something in your hands, crease your arms upward as if you were curling dumbbells, squeezing your bicep muscles. Let your arms fall back to your side.

· Again, if nothing is in your hand, squeeze your hands into fists. Release.

· Moving up to the shoulders and back, squeeze your shoulder blades together and release.

· Gently move your shoulders up toward your ears and release.

· Feel the tension fade and a sense of calm increase.

· The last step is to scrunch your face up like you just ate a very sour lemon, using your nose, your lips, your forehead, and even your ears. Release.

· Fill your lungs with breath to the count of four and release.

· Enjoy the feeling of calm and appreciate yourself for taking time for you!