Are you restless? (confronting restlessness)

Don’t be ashamed to admit it. Being restless can be a real motivator to get on with something that you’ve been putting off for years. It is the belief of many that after the close of a year and the beginning of a new one this sense of restlessness increases in frequency in the population of our country. But let me ask the important question…why? Why do we experience such feelings of uneasiness, discontent and restlessness? Sometimes this occurs all at once, and other times these feelings incrementally increase, building until sleepless night occur, stress is induced and we find ourselves questioning our occupations, general happiness and a other facets of our lives. If left unchecked this once innocuous emotion can rule our lives leading us into depression and in the need of professional counseling.

So why does restlessness occur?
Here are a couple of reasons:

1) Complacency (An Internal Struggle): just living to get by isn’t living at all. Sometimes as humans we settle into a comfortable routine, and what I’ve learned in life about routines is that if there isn’t an element of challenge attached to those routines what begins to form is uneasiness, then restlessness soon takes its place and either it spurs one to change or an emotion of lost identity ensues taking the individual into depression. Complacency is dangerous, its more than pure laziness its in a real sense a relinquishing of humanity, in other words its giving up and assuming an apathetic response to all areas of living.

The Remedy:
Change your routine. Find things to challenge you. Read books that not only encourages but pushes you to live better, healthier lives both physically and spiritually.

2) Disillusionment (An External source) Perhaps its in your work place and or your boss/employer. Perhaps its found in your financial state, you feel slighted or wronged. Maybe its in your government, or local communities.

Disillusionment can cause us to assume an identity of restlessness out of our own sense of injustice or betrayal. We feel nothing we can do will change our circumstances because we have no power to change anything in “our world” and our environment. Discontent gives way again to restlessness and soon we are in that apathetic response to the world us and we just don’t care anymore.

The Remedy: Perhaps a different line of work. I realize the economy and current market doesn’t bode well for this suggestion, but a sense of ownership can renew our world view and our role in it. Self worth is attached to our sense of achievement whether we like it or not. If we don’t feel we can contribute to a specific problem or challenge the natural instinct is to withdraw from that problem and our powerless view of ourselves only lends itself to furthering this sense of restlessness.

Another remedy would be to focus on problems or challenges that you can change or accomplish something positive. Sometimes we have this grandiose idea that we can change the world and so we attempt to take on more than we are capable of at that time…its also known as “biting off more than you can chew”. Instead we need to focus on the smaller victories and take smaller bites, so to speak. This is an incremental change in our world view, life is a journey that requires us to pace ourselves like a marathon instead of a sprint.

Are you restless at the start of 2013? Is it an internal type of restlessness, or an external type? Sometimes it can be both too. These are just a few remedy’s that are common sense and maybe will eliminate that restless spirit in you. It is understood that there are more ways to confront and address restlessness…these are just a few suggestions.

Lastly: take a vacation, get away for a weekend, or sleep a little more. Try eating a low fat diet, and exercise which has been known to increase the “good” emotions firing in your brain. Realize that restlessness relates to both your physical body as well as your emotional and spiritual side as well.

Where ever you are today, I hope that you may find rest.


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