Managing a Tendency to Worry

Dear Readers: Welcome to a new feature of the Ask Vicki blog! Over the years, in addition to questions regarding relationships, as a naturopathic physician I’ve been asked about a variety of other issues. Questions regarding physical concerns, certainly, but also emotional, mental, and even spiritual issues, as well. And in truth, they are all relationships questions because they address how we relate to ourselves and our environment.

The answers to these questions are usually short and sweet, but also rational and logical. And of course, they are grounded in the Five Elements model! The information seems more important now than ever before, so I’d like to share some of these with you here. 

Question: 

Lately, I’ve found myself worrying more than usual. Of course, these aren’t normal times, yet I think I’ve done pretty well during the pandemic. But as winter approaches, I’ve started worrying more. Will we be able to have the traditional holiday celebrations? How will we connect with people if socializing outside isn’t an option? Will the people I care about stay well? And will this ever end? Is there anything that can help me stop worrying so much? 

Answer: When you catch yourself worrying, try the following: Take a deep breath, then on a slow and steady exhale, make the sound “ommmm” very softly. You may need to do this a few times in a row, but it will help. 

Why: This is a difficult time for everyone. In so many ways, “normal” life just isn’t normal anymore. Being asked to manage this level of change will absolutely throw our energies out of balanced. 

Within the Five Elements model, the tendency to worry sits in the Earth element. Earth energy embraces family, close friends, home, food, and special traditions, among other things. We all have Earth energy in our personality mix, and the changes the pandemic has created to life as we know it have certainly affected the balance of these energies.

When Earth energy is out of balance, it is easier to than usual to question everything. This often includes issues over which we have very little control. When there are no easy answers to our questions, out of balance Earth energy will tend to keep asking anyway, and this can lead to to what we call worrying. This is especially true when the stakes are high and the answers remain vague. 

Staying safe and holiday gatherings are both extremely important to Earth energy. At the present time, there doesn’t appear to be an absolutely safe way to approach the holidays in a “normal” fashion, but because both of these are really important, our Earth energy will keep thinking about it. Prolonged thinking about anything important without a suitable course of action can upset the balance of our Earth energy and rather easily become worry.

So, whether we are worried about the pandemic, the holidays, or something else entirely, balancing our Earth energy will help mitigate the worry. And to do that, try the simple exercise mentioned above.

Stay safe and well,

Vicki

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