Have you ever found yourself trying to relax, only to be overcome by a sense that there’s something else you absolutely must do? In today’s article, we’re looking at the typical reasons why each Enneagram type struggles to take it easy and unwind.
Keep in mind, these descriptions are describing Enneagram types at their average levels of health. As each type grows and matures, they learn to take care of themselves and prioritize their well-being against their major fears.
The minute a One sits down to relax and unwind, they immediately think of all the things they “should” be doing. “Perfection waits for no one” and as the quintessential perfectionists, Ones can’t seem to justify letting loose when there is anything on their to-do list unfinished. While their friends are binging Netflix, they will be dusting the furniture, compiling their taxes, and/or volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
Read This Next: 10 Signs of an Unhealthy Enneagram One
While the rest of the Enneagram types are busy unwinding, Twos are hard at work trying to fix people’s problems. The moment they sit down, they think of someone they need to check up on, buy a gift for, or send a heartfelt letter to. When they try to relax they find their mind preoccupied with the well-being of others, which makes being idle and doing nothing virtually impossible.
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When a Three sit down to relax, their mind is immediately flooded by all the successes they could miss out on by “taking it easy.” They’ll usually find some way to unwind while being productive. For example, listening to business podcasts while walking in the park or watching their favorite show while doing sit-ups.
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Fours are driven by vivid and intense emotions. They have an urgent need to create something or probe the depths of life’s hidden meanings. Sometimes their emotional deep-diving gets in the way of unwinding and having a good time. They might turn on a movie with friends only to find their mind plaguing them with questions about whether they’re living up to their potential, or living in alignment with their beliefs, or being the authentic person they feel they should be. Sometimes they’re so busy digesting and analyzing what their feelings (or even others’ feelings) are telling them that they can’t seem to relax. While other types are taking naps or watching football, they might be filling the pages of a journal or trying to solve the existential questions of life and death.
Read This Next: 7 Struggles of the Enneagram Four type
The Five’s mind is always running as if it were an operating system on overdrive. When they try to relax, their minds can’t stop churning out analytical questions and possibilities. They feel an incessant need to know and understand everything. So while everyone else is kicking back and zoning out, they might be reading an encyclopedia, debating philosophical theories on Reddit, or taking apart their computer in order to improve its performance.
Due to this Enneagram type’s need for security, stability, and certainty, Sixes have trouble not worrying about the future. Since every decision is fraught with uncertainty, they can feel anxious about what might happen if they take time off to relax. The moment they sit on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a good movie they wonder, “Have I locked all the doors?” “Do I have life insurance?” or “Am I saving enough for retirement?” Before you know it, they’ve cast the popcorn aside and are balancing their budgets, researching home security systems, and rehashing that awkward thing they said to their friend yesterday.
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Sevens live life in high gear and find it difficult to chill out and contemplate. They believe they’re competing against time, which only serves to exacerbate the desire to live every minute to the fullest. So while their friends are binge-watching their favorite TV shows or indulging in some reflection and relaxation, Sevens are trying to conquer their bucket list. You can find them skiing in Alaska, running with the bulls, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or traveling to exotic places they’ve only seen on TV.
Eights need to feel a sense of control and authority in their own lives. They hate to be too sedentary or immobile because it can make them feel vulnerable or weak. Thus they enjoy taking on challenges that make them feel the rush and intensity of life or the thrill of getting ahead of their competition. So while their friends are having fun or relaxing, the Eight might be starting their own business, building their own home, or challenging themselves to a dangerous whitewater rafting adventure.
This Enneagram type is often so sensitive and attuned to the harmony of the world around them, that it can be difficult for them to relax. Some Nines try so hard to avoid rocking the boat, that they agree to do a laundry list of things they have absolutely no desire to do, just to keep the peace. They might spend their weekend going to social events they hate only to feel resentful later that they never had time for themselves.
Read This Next: 7 Struggles of the Enneagram Nine Type
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