Uncovering Anxiety

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When we’re talking about anxiety, it’s important to uncover the various shades of what creates those wide-eyed, tight chest, cat-got-your-tongue feelings. When we learn to identify the specific feelings more, we can be more proactive in addressing some of these all-consuming sensations. The way we’re going to do this is by looking at some old Eastern perspectives on emotions and their associated channels in our bodies called meridians.

  • Lost or vulnerable. These are the emotions associated with the Small Intestines meridian. If you can think of different times when you’ve felt the interruption of those anxious feelings, have you ever noticed a correlation with them in situations when you’re doing something totally new or performing?

I often feel this leading up to a presentation I’m about to give. By knowing my pattern, I work on this meridian by gently breathing in and out this feeling of vulnerability. Then I shift my focus to breath in and out the feeling of accepting my best. I do so while massaging the Small Intestines 3 point. When you make a fist, it is located by the knuckle of the pinky where the skin pouches out.

  • Frightfully overjoyed. This is an unfamiliar term in our Western society, so the way I describe it to patients is that it’s when we look happy and just fine, but don’t feel that way inside. It’s like the feeling when also we laugh nervously. This is the emotion of the Heart meridian. I see this most often appearing in more of our close-knit relationships. For example, when a loved one may have hurt our feelings or misunderstood us, and we’re not sure how to address it, so we just try and play it off.

With this “frightfully overjoyed” feeling, its best to first breath in awareness for the hurt or anticipation of being hurt. Then, when you feel ready, you can shift to breath in the feeling of being safe and authentic. You can do so while massaging over the Heart 7 point. With the palm up, this is located on the inside of the wrist, on the pinky side, in the crease where the hand connects to the wrist.

  • Food for thought: in Eastern medicine we also focus on nourishing the mind and body through specific foods. Here are some good foods to add:

Cinnamon
Honey (in moderation, teaspoon-amount)
Berries
Leafy greens
Olives/olive oil
Cucumbers
Papaya
Garlic/onion

If you want to really enjoy diminished feelings of anxiety, also avoid processed and sugary foods. (Hint: foods that have come out of a drive-through window or box.)

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By practicing these breathing and acupressure points daily, you’ll be able to train your reflexes to breathe and expand when you start sensing those anxious feelings of constriction. Add some fresh air into your practice, either by going outdoors or opening the window to continue to flush out those congested sensations further. The food suggestions will also help calm and tone your nervous system. If you’re looking for more info on creating safe places for yourself, check out our Boundaries blog series from last fall.

Hope you enjoy some of these Eastern options! Post if you have any thoughts or questions, and share the health with your friends 🙂

More info on locating those acupressure points :

https://theory.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncturepoints/si3

https://theory.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncturepoints/ht7

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