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Transform Restless to Relaxed in Five Steps

I have a foolproof way to know when spring is coming. No, I don’t rely on Groundhog Day or Easter chocolates appearing on store shelves.

It’s the first day that someone in British Columbia posts a photo of daffodils. The collective moaning and kvetching from the rest of Canada is deafening. Everyone else feels grumpy as heck that we’re still up to our knees in snow.

I’m as anxious as anyone for spring to arrive. By early March, I’m feeling intense spring fever. I’m restless for primroses and tulips to appear in gardens, for eliminating a layer or two of clothing, and for a green vegetable that is not frozen peas. I’m ready for the fresh energy that spring heralds.

That spring restlessness that many of us feel can be a good thing; a sign that we are ready to leave winter hibernation behind us. Or it can be saboteur energy that distracts us from what is important, hampers our productivity, and prevents us from working on our priorities. That kind of energy is exhausting not energizing.I’ve noticed that whenever I have an upcoming writing deadline, the Restless Saboteur pulls my focus away from the concentration needed for writing. I’ll suddenly be cleaning my home, cooking elaborate meals, and tidying my workspace.Unchecked, Restless Saboteurs can be the cause of a busy yet unproductive day. The Restless Saboteur will have us multi-tasking and looking for quick hits of dopamine. People with Restless habits can be impatient and will avoid unpleasant feelings or situations by switching focus constantly. They might be driven by a feeling that life is too short and that without constant movement they’ll miss out. FOMO may well have been coined by someone experiencing a Restless Saboteur.

When you suspect you are in Restless mode, try these five steps to transform restless to relaxed:

  1. Notice what kind of energy you are bringing to the busyness. Is it scattered or focused? Nervous or calm?
  2. Whatever you are doing, bring as much focus as you can to the task. If you are dusting, notice the tiny particles of dust as they lay still or move in the air. If you are exercising, notice the pace of your breathing, the feel of a specific muscle as you move. Do some PQ Reps on touch, hearing, or breath.
  3. From this place of attention, ask yourself if this activity is a priority for your day or a distraction? If a distraction, notice any feelings that come up when you think about the priority.
  4. Now bring your focus to that priority activity. Imagine yourself doing that activity in great detail. Imagine how you want to feel as you are doing the task—capable, happy, focused? Next imagine how you want to feel when you complete the task—proud, calm, reliable?
  5. When you are ready, move to your priority activity. If it is a big task, break it down to small parts and tackle one at a time. Repeat the above steps as needed until you are acting from a place of relaxed focus.

Thanks to consistent Mental Fitness practices, I’m gradually gaining self-command over Restlessness. After a short session of PQ Reps, I’m able to transform the high energy and creativity that underlies Restless behaviours into focused action on my work.

The Mental Fitness system gives my clients the tools to transform their insights into new habits and their restlessness into productive relaxed action.