THE BLOG
02/07/2014 03:31 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2014

Making the Most of the Waiting Room

You have just arrived at the doctor's office or medical facility. You have an appointment, and you take a seat in the waiting room. Most likely, the place is a busy hubbub of activity, and the waiting room will have seating, and perhaps even a water cooler. This room was designed as a place to remove a coat, take a breath and/or decompress while you wait your turn. It's at these times that we are a little more anxious than usual. It would help for us to be able to disconnect from the stress of real-world concerns and relax beforehand. The waiting room is supposed to be the place to do that. One of the ways that can be accomplished is through calming music piped in through a speaker system. Unfortunately, chances are not good that there will be soft music to help people embrace that relaxation. The waiting room, for all its good intentions, has lost its way, and the inclusion of the television is responsible.

In my experience, the average medical/hospital waiting room commonly has a television set mounted on the wall to keep us entertained. The office staff holds the power of the remote control, and the TV is tuned to hard news or detailed medical procedures. This might be a choice for some, but not for all, and the waiting room can become a panic room for those who can't handle the negativity of what is on that TV set. I only need to look around at the others seated with me in a room to see what that negativity is doing to their spirit.

Though I have requested changes with my own professionals, I realize that we aren't able to do that all the time. The next best thing is to prepare yourself for quality time while waiting so you avoid the negativity.

1. Take along ear buds or headphones, a music player, tablet or smart phone and hook yourself up for some entertainment in the privacy of your own head. This helps you to block out unintentionally eavesdropping on conversations, as well as tuning out the television.

2. Read a book instead of the magazines provided so that you feel more comfortable in the surroundings. (Often, we can wait hours in one of these rooms).

3. Disengage from uncomfortable conversation by not discussing stories on why you are at the facility in the first place. Instead, meditate with those ear buds/headphones and focus calmly on your breathing.

4. Lastly, if you find the office staff contributes to this, then also be prepared to share that with your doctor so change can be accomplished.

We can't control the way other people go about their business. However, we certainly can control how we allow business to serve and benefit us. There is no reason why we should have to wait in a room that is not healing when we are seeking out the services of a healing professional.

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