3 Things to Do When Waiting in Line (That Don't Involve Your Bloody Phone)

Updated: Jul 22, 2018

people waiting in line

Here's a common scenario. You’re at Starbucks and the barista is taking longer to foam your latte than the Mueller investigation. Naturally, you reach for your phone to mindlessly peruse the latest fallout of another Kardashian disaster – but wait!

You suddenly hear the internationally recognized team of experts at LewisLovesYou inviting you to holster that radioactive sidearm and try the following:

Practice diaphragmatic breathing

Might as well let you in on the world’s worst-kept secret – we’ve forgotten how to breathe. Not literally, just properly.

Sure, your medulla naturally sends chemoreceptors to your lungs telling them to bring in the O2. But, sitting behind a desk all day, having chronic stress, and envisioning a society in which your iPhone holds a charge for longer than 12 seconds has wreaked havoc on optimal breathing.

Relearning to maximize oxygen intake is not only critical for better mindfulness, but also for greater health and longevity.

Diaphragmatic breathing is relatively easy with regular practice. Just breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose - filling the lungs from the bottom - while keeping the chest as still as possible.

Envision your lungs filling up entirely from the base of your stomach all the way to the top of your chest as if trying to touch your shoulders. Then exhale through your nose or mouth. Repeat three to five times at three to five times a day.

You have a 5-quart lung capacity and the goal is to fill and empty this space with each inhalation and exhalation. Five to seven seconds in, five to seven seconds out. Or roughly the longest length of time you’ve ever heard Jared Kushner speak.

Silently bless people

You need not be Oprah nor ordained by the Vatican to dole out good vibes. Just observe whoever is nearby and send them benevolent intentions in whatever way feels right.

You’ll quickly discover the main benefit of the laws of interconnectivity and reciprocity; that is, the good you give away comes back to you immediately. And things that would normally bother or even enrage you, annoy you less.

Suddenly, the crying baby at table 12 isn’t so frustrating after all. And the girl in the yoga pants who we all know doesn’t actually use those pants for yoga isn’t hurting anyone.

And the guy wearing the Marilyn Manson T-shirt and assless chaps … OK, he’s still a whackjob. Easy people, I never promised you a rose garden.

Say hello to someone

This really shouldn’t be that difficult. But if “hello” is a bridge too far, just reference something they’re doing as a conversation starter.

Something such as: “I see you’re wearing a Garmin. Are you a triathlete?” Or “Did you get your glasses from Warby Parker?” Or “Wow, those assless chaps sure are assless.”


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