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Internal Agitation: Does it Run You or Do You Run It?

Internal Agitation: Does it Run You or Do You Run It?

This is the first in a series of blogs I will be writing about living a more relaxed life and focusing on creating what you REALLY want. The topic of “internal agitation” has been present with me recently and I want to explore what you do to calm the agitation, and tell you what has helped me through the years. I have noticed the feeling is present when I am fearful or worried and can be compounded with too much sugar, caffeine or other bad foods for my body (especially chocolate). Some folks may describe it as “being stressed out,” or “feeling uptight,” but if you sit with it and become present, it is like a buzzing inside you – static.

So how do you clear the static? I have found several techniques that work for me. One is simply breathing long and deep. Think of breathing all the way in until your whole body feels like an inflated balloon and then exhaling all the way out, pulling your navel in towards your spine. This process is like a tonic for your body & mind. It actually slows down the brain and all of those negative, worrisome thoughts. It is also a tonic for all of your organs. The great thing is, you can do it anywhere and no one will know that you are calming your internal agitation.

Another technique I find help helpful is simply sitting and noticing the agitation. I have a daily practice of sitting for at least 20 minutes. For some, that can be painful and on some days it is painful for me. But even sitting for 5-10 minutes a day in a quiet space can make a difference. By doing this you are cultivating a “neutral mind.” Neutral mind is that place where we understand the best course of action to take in a particular situation. It is the place where solutions arise to the toughest problems without any thinking or effort, totally stress-free. It is where we are tuned into our internal knowing.

We all possess positive and negative mind but we must cultivate neutral mind. The positive mind tells you what good will come out of a situation. It represents your optimistic side and your ability to give and have hope. Your negative mind warns you of danger and possible problems in any given situation. Of course, the problems arise when your positive and negative minds are not in balance. An underdeveloped positive mind can lead toward depression and negativity. An underdeveloped negative mind can cause impulsiveness. Both minds serve us, and by developing neutral mind we balance both the negative and positive to create a clearer, more relaxed brain.

And I think we all know that when we are more relaxed, we are more effective, have better ideas and have more fun! So I invite you to share what calms your internal agitation and observe whether it is running you, or are you running it.

Happy Breathing!



  1. Wendy

    That is really helpful. I was sitting down reading this post and I could literally hear the buzzing you were referring to – a deep breath really does help – even just the first one. I think stress and over-stimulation sneaks up on us without us even realizing it! I’ve never encountered that particular way of thinking of the positive, negative and neutral mind before. So many people only value the positive mind. This is an interesting and more realistic view of the value of each aspect.

    I struggle with my “to do” list for each day – the balance between family, business, service to others, and quiet personal time is very tricky, and I do not have it perfectly figured out, but I do manage to maintain a pretty busy lifestyle, and though I may be lacking in the personal quiet time department, I do have a couple of things that help me to feel less stressed. First, I have a ballet class that I go to once a week for an hour. It may not seem like much, but it has made a gigantic difference in my quality of life. For one hour each week, my only responsibility is to stretch and to master a dance form that I truly love.

    Another thing that helps is having my preschooler attend preschool three times a week in the afternoon. It’s just enough to give me time to balance work and errands so that I am able to focus more on my family in the evening.

    I also rely a lot on friends. We move often, and the impact of a social network cannot be underestimated. It takes a while to meet people you can trust, but when you have a few friends that you can converse with over a nice cup of tea, or take turns babysitting each other’s kids so you can each go out on a date, it makes an immeasurable difference on stress levels.

    I look forward to hearing what others suggest, and to hearing what you say in your future posts!

  2. Sam

    Well, I sit here thinking about what to say and find myself needing to either breathe or go find that quiet space because I am obviously putting something else off that I should be doing.
    All kidding aside, this is great information to digest. Nice post. I believe that if I actually acknowledge the agitation exists it may allow me to better cope with the static. What you have provided me are some tools to facilitate that process.
    Quiet space may be more difficult for me to find, but the breathing technique is interesting. I tried this yesterday afternoon and realized I may not even be breathing correctly. Yes, a long healthy intake through the nostrils and a steady but deliberate exhale from the mouth was very calming.
    One other ‘quick’ fix for me is a simple stretching routine. I don’t mean the full blown workout, but rather short and ‘well-timed’ (if done in the office) motions. Arms above the head, reaching for the ceiling type; fully extended in front of me and perhaps an attempt at toe touching. Mind you, breathing is an extremely beneficial component to this routine.
    All in all, I am glad I came across your blog. I look forward to future posts. Thank you and be well.

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