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Restlessness and worry

This week we continue to explore the hindrances – the mind habits that inhibit wellbeing and happiness. Early March we starting discussing the hindrances because they play such an important role in our lives. Now, with the reality as it is, knowing about and recognising the hindrances is more important than ever.

Reminder of the hindrances

As we have discussed, there are 5 hindrances. Basically, they are the ways in which we get in our own way of finding sustainable happiness and ease in our lives. They are:

You can look in your dashboard to find the articles related to the first three hindrances. As you probably realise, the hindrances are quite stubborn and will not just magically go away. In fact, they will probably remain part of our lives for a long time. We might shift our relationship to them, not get so caught up in them, or encounter different versions of them as we are faced with different challenges.

The information in these articles will give you an edge in dealing with them when they arise. You will be familiar with them, and even start to recognise them as they appear. This is the start of being able to let go of them, or getting less caught up in them. See how you go, but remember that they are indeed stubborn.

Today, we will explore worry and restlessness.

We worry and get restless

I don’t know about you, but during this time I am encountering restlessness and worry quite a lot. Even though sometimes it might be easy to recognise, it is interesting to look a little more closely at both worry and restlessness. What they feel like, when do they come up for us?

Restlessness

We can feel restless in body and in mind. It has an energy of agitation and often expresses itself in not being able to sit still and to constantly be distracted. Reading a book or writing a report seems impossible, you switch tasks at work constantly, and there is a constant need to move.

The main reason we get restlessness is an imbalance of energy. There is too much energy in our bodies or minds and not enough focus and concentration. We feed the restlessness because we lack the ability to concentrate and focus our mind and body.

Try a body scan – this meditation is one of the meditations most prone to restlessness. See what you experience when you do this meditation.

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Meditation

Body Scan

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Meditation

Body Scan

Worry

Often worry feels like anxiety. It originates mostly in our mind, but also expresses itself in our body. There are three ways our mind generate worries:

The common thread is that worry gets us nowhere. It does not influence the outcome in any way. It just makes us more stressed out and miserable.

Causes of worry are mostly linked to being caught up in our own thoughts. We are stuck in repetitive, sometimes even obsessive, thought patterns.

Another one, which is especially pertinent right now, is that we give unwise attention to the situation in the world. This means we take in the news without being aware of the impact it is having on us. We do not bring awareness to our intake or our response to the events in the world. Right now that would show itself in taking in the news all day every day or by trying to find certainty in the uncertain situation.

What can we do?

If you remember the previous emails about the hindrances you will start to see a pattern in how we deal with them. The first and most important thing is to become aware of the mind-state, of the hindrance itself. We learn to notice when it is there, and when it is not.

The second pattern in how to deal with hindrances is sensing them in the body. Moving from intellectually analysing the presence or absence of the mind-states and feeling them in the body. Experiencing them in the moment. This can be tough, as it often feels unpleasant, but it is very powerful.

Restlessness can be approached in different ways

Approach worry with kindness

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Meditation

Thoughts are not facts

Start meditation

Meditation

Thoughts are not facts