A young woman needs 5 tips for how to stop feeling restless.

5 Tips for How to Stop Feeling Restless

Manage restlessness with mindfulness, exercise, good sleep habits, and other tips.


share icon Facebook logo LinkedIn logo

Understanding restlessness involves recognizing its common symptoms and identifying potential underlying causes. Restlessness often manifests as a feeling of agitation or discomfort, accompanied by physical symptoms such as fidgeting, an inability to sit still, and constant movement. Mentally, it can present as racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, and a pervasive sense of unease. 

The causes of restlessness are varied and can include stress, anxiety, and lifestyle factors such as poor sleep hygiene, excessive caffeine intake, or a lack of physical activity. In some cases, mental health conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also contribute to chronic restlessness. Identifying and addressing the root causes is essential for effective management and relief, promoting better mental health and overall well-being.

5 tips for how to stop feeling restless

Are you feeling restless and seeking ways to regain peace and calm? Explore these five practical tips designed to help you alleviate restlessness and promote a sense of tranquility in your life.

1. Determine the underlying cause of your restlessness

Understanding the root cause of your restlessness is crucial for addressing it effectively. Restlessness can stem from a variety of factors, including physical health issues, mental health concerns, lifestyle habits, or environmental stressors. Identifying the underlying cause helps tailor your approach to managing and reducing restlessness. 

2. Try physical strategies 

Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, running, or yoga, can significantly reduce restlessness by lowering stress hormones and boosting endorphins, thereby improving mood. Ensuring adequate sleep is also crucial; establishing a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time daily, avoiding screens before bedtime, and creating a relaxing pre-sleep ritual — sleep hygiene strategies that can improve sleep quality and reduce restlessness, since sleep deprivation is often associated with poorer mental health. 

3. Practice mental and emotional strategies 

Practice mindfulness and meditation to center your thoughts and reduce anxiety, using simple techniques like focusing on your breath or guided meditation. Controlled breathing exercises, such as deep breathing, can also help reduce restlessness. Additionally, journaling your thoughts and feelings can aid in processing emotions and clearing your mind; use prompts like “What’s on my mind right now?” or “What am I grateful for today?” to get started.

4. Make some lifestyle changes

Create a balanced daily routine with time for work, rest, and leisure to reduce chaos and restlessness. Engage in enjoyable hobbies like reading, gardening, or crafting to distract from stress and provide a sense of accomplishment.

5. Seek professional help as needed

If restlessness persists despite trying various self-help strategies, it may be beneficial to seek professional assistance. Consulting with a therapist or counselor can provide valuable support and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Mental health professionals can help identify underlying causes of restlessness, such as anxiety, depression, or unresolved trauma, and develop a personalized treatment plan. Therapy options may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing negative thought patterns, or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), which combines mindfulness practices with stress management techniques. Additionally, a healthcare provider can evaluate whether medication might be appropriate for managing severe symptoms. Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help to ensure you receive the support necessary to achieve a calmer, more balanced life.

When is restlessness a sign of a mental health condition? 

Restlessness can potentially signal a mental health condition when it becomes persistent, intense, and significantly disrupts daily functioning. While occasional feelings of restlessness are common and typically transient, prolonged and overwhelming restlessness may be indicative of an underlying mental health issue. 

For instance, people with anxiety disorders may experience restlessness as a prominent symptom, often accompanied by excessive worry and physical symptoms such as muscle tension or racing thoughts. Similarly, restlessness can be a hallmark feature of ADHD, where people may struggle with impulsivity, difficulty concentrating, and an inability to sit still. In bipolar disorder, restlessness may manifest as part of a manic episode characterized by heightened energy levels, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior. Additionally, some forms of depression, such as agitated depression, may present with symptoms of restlessness alongside persistent sadness or irritability. 

If restlessness persists and is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as changes in mood, sleep disturbances, or impaired functioning, it’s essential to seek professional evaluation and support from a mental health professional.

How Charlie Health can help

If you or a loved one are experiencing restlessness related to a mental health condition, Charlie Health is here to help. Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides mental health treatment for dealing with serious mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and more. Our expert clinicians incorporate evidence-based therapies into individual counseling, family therapy, and group sessions. With this kind of holistic online therapy, managing your mental health is possible. Fill out the form below or give us a call to start healing today. 

Charlie Health shield logo

Comprehensive mental health treatment from home

90% of Charlie Health clients and their families would recommend Charlie Health

Girl smiling talking to her mother

We're building treatment plans as unique as you.