When we think about symptoms, we generally mention things like achy muscles, stomach pains, headaches, and indigestion. But did you know that symptoms also stem from our emotional health? In fact, stress, fear, worry, and anxiety contribute to many of the physical—tangible—symptoms that we often experience.
We are highly attuned to notice when something doesn’t feel or “function” right on a physical level. But are you aware of the times when your emotions are out of whack? Maybe you experience an emotional roller coaster during that ‘time of the month’, you have sporadic emotional outbursts, or you have developed fears that hold you back from your everyday life. Either way, these “excess emotions” are the body’s way of communicating with you. They’re telling you that something is off balance.
Picture a see saw. You are sitting in the middle with both sides completely balanced. Then someone jumps on one side and suddenly, it tilts to one side, completely off balance. Now imagine that the “someone” who jumped on the see saw was actually a recent event. Maybe someone spouted unfriendly words to you in the grocery store, which threw a once pleasant situation off kilter. How did you react? If you screamed back, one side of that see saw got thrown in the air. If you maintained your composure and brushed her off, chances are your see saw regulated itself.
We all have this inner system of checks and balances. We attend to people and situations in our lives from many viewpoints. Sometimes we are proud of our reactions and other times we wish we would’ve handled them differently. But life is a continual learning experience, and we all learn as we go. Approaching our emotions as symptoms allows us to understand our body from a different perspective—an energetic one.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield said it. We all know it. Fear is debilitating. It stops us in our tracks and can even cause our bodies to become frozen, or temporarily paralyzed. Once we are able to move past the fear, our bodies move in smoother motions, our thoughts flow freely, and we are calmer—and funny enough, more productive. So what is this thing called “fear” and how can we stop it?
Fear is simply an energetic vibration—the same as worry, joy, stress, and anxiety. Fear itself relates to the energetic function of the Kidney which supplies the other organ systems with Qi when they are low or depleted. All of our emotions have the ability to throw our see saw off balance or keep us on a calm and peaceful path. The beauty of being human is that you can experience a wide range of emotions. It’s not natural to think that a human being wouldn’t experience fear, worry, anxiety or stress in their lifetime. It’s all in how you handle those emotions. When we talk about mind-body-spirit balance, we look at the emotions (mind), physical being (body) and life’s path or purpose (spirit), which translates into health for the whole being.
Winter, the season that supports the Kidney, is the perfect time to tackle those fears. Try these tips:
1. Acknowledge your fears. Write about them, think about them, talk about them with others. Give them their own stage—and then set them free. Recognize that you no longer need fear in your life and see yourself as strong and capable without them. Once you are ready, write your fears on a balloon and release it into the sky, or slip a paper into a bottle and ship it out to sea. The act of actually letting your fears fly (or float) freely is empowering.
2. Practice Qigong. Fear is simply an energetic vibration. What better way to sift through those emotions than through energy work. Use Qigong movements, such as The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth or the Four Energy Gates to help reset your inner see saw.
3. Go day-by-day. As fear begins to creep in, close your eyes and breathe. Breathe in through your nose and imagine that you are taking in everything good and calming. Breathe out through your mouth and slowly release your fears with each breath. Soon you will begin to see that fear doesn’t need to take over. Notice the balance you feel once that fear leaves you, even temporarily. Become aware of yourself as a mind-body-spirit being, knowing that you are doing great work to get closer to balance.
Explore more! Gain more insight on fear from the TCM perspective. Fear: Will it Stop You or Propel You Further.
In these confusing times, we’d like to offer support. Consider joining the Prevention Program.