Restless, Irritable, and Discontent

Restless, Irritable, and Discontent


If you are restless, irritable, and discontent then you need to take some action in order to get yourself and your mind to a better place.

Those in the 12 step fellowship would argue that there is some level of spiritual discord in your life if you are feeling this way.  There is nothing wrong with the world, that in fact the problem lies within.  “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today” etc.

They are right, for the most part.  Can’t argue with that.  But what are you going to do about it?  If you are feeling pissed off and aggravated, what are you going to do in order to get yourself right?  How can you go from this type of mood to one where you are not so aggravated?

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Creative Commons License photo credit: martingarri

I’m going to share my own experience here by pointing out some of the unique things that have worked for me.  This is what my life has evolved into in long term recovery:

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1) Exercise – didn’t expect that, did you?  Exercise is a huge outlet and I think many people in recovery underestimate how big a role this can play in their emotional well being.  If you are lazy and don’t get much exercise, it is going to reflect poorly on your mood in the long run.  On the other hand, if you are active and get a regular, vigorous workout, then this can make a huge difference in how you feel throughout your day.

Also, if you are pissed off, a vigorous workout can help you to “reset.”  You can literally go burn off some steam if you are in the habit of working out.

Exercise is spiritual.  It is a moving meditation of sorts.  Do not underestimate it.  Use it as a tool.  Experiment with it.  Push yourself to get healthy with this aspect of recovery.

2) Helping others – the fellowship would call this “12 step work.”  That’s fine.  Just find a way to do it and you will feel about a hundred times better about yourself.  Reach out and help others and your own feelings of restlessness and irritability will go away.  If you are discontent, then dealing with the problems of another addict and helping them through those problems will help you to take the focus off of yourself.  This method works when others fail.

3) Fasting – again, you probably could not have predicted this one!  If you are pissed off at the world, there is an internal reason.  Stop eating food for a few days and that reason will bubble to the surface in an emotional detox that comes out easily while you are fasting.  Personally, I do juice fasting as it is easy to do and less intense (and less dangerous) than water fasting.  But I promise you will go through an emotional detox and start to see what is really important in your life if you stop eating solid food for a few days.

Notice that all 3 of these suggestions are exercises in spiritual growth.  They all have a spiritual component to them.


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