Worry and Stress: Give It to the Earth

Have you ever seen children jump in a muddy puddle and smile with joy as the mud splashed all over their faces? Their joy is endless, laughter contagious. Adults feel it, too. Think about the worry, anxiety and stress that somehow disappear while you work in the garden, planting flowers, fruits or even pulling weeds. Playing in the dirt is rejuvenating. The Earth has a way of absorbing negativity so we can see life situations from differing perspectives.

As we near summer’s end, we transition from the joyful Heart to the Stomach and Spleen—the Earth element. This organ pair is most affected by chronic worry, anxiety, or overthinking. The Stomach is responsible not only for digesting food and drink, but also emotions and thoughts, keeping what nurtures your spirit and letting go of what doesn’t.

Worry can make a situation larger-than-life, and often in negative ways. Picture the first time you sent your Kindergartener off to school or your teen got behind the wheel of a car. You were likely fraught with worry. Maybe you thought, “What if she is scared and can’t call me? What if he gets hurt or lost?” Controlling a situation with worry only makes the situation worse. Further, it often results in a stomach ache or diarrhea. But that makes sense, doesn’t it? If the Stomach is affected by worry and is responsible for digestion, diarrhea is the body’s way of cleansing these emotions so the body can regain balance.

Instead of letting yourself get to that point, learn to tune inward. Nurture yourself with Nature. Go back to the Earth to find a better state of balance. Get your hands muddy. Plant flowers near your mailbox or dig a hole and discover what’s living underneath. Breathe in the fresh air. Stop for a moment to think about things that consume you with worry. Can you change or control those situations? If not, learn to let the worry go, little-by-little. This is the first step toward finding your own inner freedom.

When you tune inward, you give yourself the gift to freely express yourself and communicate with your body on a higher level. The challenge is learning to listen without overthinking and without letting the worry creep in.


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