Having to wait, and the frustration this can cause is an inevitable part of our lives that can strongly influence both our mental and physical health. Let’s look at some common sources of frustration in our society – waiting in long lines, in rush-hour traffic, just waiting in general – and I’ll share some helpful tips to quell the anxiety.
The Source of Frustration
EFT works in this situation to address a key ingredient in all waiting situations –– a strong need to change the situation, to make the delay go away (the line hurry up, the phone waiting-time speed up, etc.). This is actually a need to control the uncontrollable.
When you want to change someone (or something) you are trying to control that person or thing. Unfortunately, we often feel the need to control anything and everything around us. When we don’t succeed in this, and we often don’t, this can make us very upset.
Obviously being in control is useful in many situations. Human inventiveness is born out of a need to control (and thereby make safe) our environment, and a healthy wish to control motivates all learning. When I talk about letting go of wanting to control, therefore, I mean letting go of the need to over-control –– the desire to manipulate facets of life which cannot be manipulated or which can only be manipulated at too great a cost to ourselves.
The fact is that many things in life are partially or completely outside of our control. These range from all-encompassing matters such as air pollution, our own mortality, or the political-economic situation, to such minor inconveniences as a computer that doesn’t work, a person who speaks to us in an “edgy” tone of voice, or being unable to locate an object. If we wrote down how many things failed to go the way we want them to during a typical day, we would find ourselves with a long list.
Because we can’t make everything go the way we want it to, it is very wise to learn how to let go of our over-involvement with the unchangeable things in our lives and concentrate instead on those matters that can be changed by our actions.
This advice is reminiscent of the Alcoholics Anonymous Serenity Prayer that goes:
God grant me the
Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And Wisdom to know the difference.
The strong need to change a situation we simply cannot change can respond remarkably well to
Use EFT While Waiting in General
Whenever you are caught in a situation where you must wait without a say in the matter, you can use EFT for:
~ Your frustration about waiting
~ Your worry about the consequences
~ A current problem that is on your mind.
Whatever issue you address with EFT, this act, alone, will make you feel lighter and freer.
EFT. My client “Rita” is an example. She used EFT to handle her extreme frustration at the long wait she experiences at the checkout counter of the supermarket.
Rita’s doctor told her that her constant irritation with minor frustrations was contributing to her high blood pressure and advised her to take life at a more leisurely pace. This general advice did her absolutely no good, however. Rita still seethed inside when other people held up the checkout line in any way, or when there were a great many others ahead of her and she knew there would be an extra-long wait.
In working on this issue, Rita formulated the following EFT statement. At my suggestion she recalled a specific memory in which a woman standing in front of her in line started to argue with the checkout person about whether she was entitled to a special discount. This experience had infuriated Rita at the time and to handle the memory she formulated the following EFT statement:
“Even though I wanted to shake her and shove her out of the way, I choose to let go of wanting to change how she acted.”
The concept of letting go of her wish to change the woman’s behavior was at first very difficult for Rita. She couldn’t imagine not being furious at her behavior! However, as she tapped on this issue she began to feel a shift occur and then, suddenly, the situation no longer seemed personally affronting. It just didn’t impact her the same way; it was just a happening, and “I was just there watching it like I’d watch a movie, I wasn’t involved.” By using EFT, Rita had let go of wanting to control the situation and in so doing had freed herself from a painful struggle to change the impossible.
CHOICES TIP: Using EFT While Waiting in Line
“Even though I’ve been waiting an hour, I choose to use this time to do EFT (in my mind).“
I then asked her to imagine other frustrating situations in which she had been forced to wait on line –– at the bank, at a toll booth on the turnpike, wherever this had occurred, and each time to tap down her need to control (change) the situation. She followed my advice and every time when she had tapped down a need to change a waiting situation, she felt a release. Letting go of the need to control freed her to think of other things when she was waiting in lines because she was no longer involved personally. When she was not “in there fighting to change it” her whole perspective shifted. The urgency she had felt when waiting on lines and the consequent stress faded away.
Rita was making use of a powerful technique known as “Releasing.” Releasing frees us by allowing us to let go of a need to control the world around us. Years ago, before I had ever heard of the tapping procedures, I was so impressed by the power of the Releasing technique that I wrote a book on it teaching this method to the general public. It was published by a leading publisher, William Morrow, and was in the opinion of critics the most thorough and innovative way of learning this remarkably effective technique.
My instructions to Rita –– which can be applied equally to yourself if this issue resonates with you –– were to tap daily on the problem of waiting in line by recalling remembered scenes of waiting in line in various places and then using EFT for these scenes. She was to tap until she experienced a “Release,” a shift in perspective that would make everything about the waiting seem different to her. When she had done this and was able to achieve this new perspective increasingly often she now had many constructive thoughts during her waiting periods and frequently solved problems during them. Waiting in line became, in a sense ”found” time for her, time she could spend with herself and her own ideas during an otherwise hectic day.
Try the Releasing technique I suggested to Rita. It could be liberating for you as well!
“The releasing technique is one of the most powerful self-help techniques available for conquering stress and increasing personal effectiveness…”
The Releasing technique helps us solve the age-old problem of needing to control the truly uncontrollable in life – a dilemma that can undermine and sometimes ruin our lives, drag down our careers, harm our relationships or damage our health.