Dealing with Anxiety
They say this is a happy and special time of year for getting together with family, creating wonderful memories, and spending time with those we love most. For many people it is the opposite, its a time of loneliness, stress, painful memories or missing a loved one; or perhaps someone doesn’t feel comfortable in group settings, hosting parties or with small chit chat among others. In today’s society there is already too many people that suffer from anxiety and this time of year seems to exasperate it even more.
In Chinese medicine the kidneys can play apart in our anxiety. The kidneys are a water element and winter is also a time for the kidney. It should be a time of rest, reflection, meditation, rejuvenation and reflecting on things. The adrenals glands which regulate your stress response and secrete hormones, including aldosterone, (which works with the kidneys). Are considered the same organ as the kidneys in Chinese medicine. When they become fatigued it could lead to insomnia, chronic fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, craving salty &/or sweet foods, poor digestion, poor concentration, pms or menopause issues, lack of libido, panic attacks and depression.
There are a number of ways that may help combat anxiety and help you feel more calm, relaxed and prepared for what lays ahead of you.
Acupuncture. It has been shown that acupuncture can affect the sympathetic (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system(PNS). It has also been shown to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemicals, which play an important role in the regulation of physical and emotional stress responses such as pain, heart rate, blood pressure and digestive function.
Foot massage. Having a foot massage can work the reflex points and open up the meridians in the feet. Plus how can you feel stressed or anxious while your feet are being massaged?
Meditation and breathing exercises can help bring things back into balance, they can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. They can also help slow and calm down a restless mind. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference in your mood and mental well being.
Practice Qigong or Yoga. These are systems that uses breath, meditation and movement to relax the body and mind. They can also bring awareness to your body and help lessen the physical effects of stress and anxiety.
Use food to help heal you. Try cooking foods longer. Have smaller meals. Avoid or limit, refined sugar, coffee, alcohol, high processed foods and limit your salt intake.
Add: Turnip, Celery, Asparagus, Oats, Quinoa and Watercress
Lastly, focus on gratitude. Everyday find something, no matter how small to be grateful for.
The was originally published Dec 12, 2018 in MyKawartha