Tips for Overcoming Anxiety
By Therese Poon
Deep Breaths & Fresh Air
Sometimes when we're feeling unwell and symptoms of overwhelming anxiety, nausea, tension and fear arise, we can feel as if we just need to escape ourselves in some way but are trapped in whatever state and thought patterns we're currently experiencing. One option you might want to try, if logistically possible, is to go outside for a walk (or run) and take very deep and very slow breaths. It may seem simple, but often in those moments, it's a struggle and difficult to get yourself to do it, so the suggestion is to try practicing these things now, so you can do them later if needed.
By taking deep, slow and controlled breaths the mind, which can feel locked in the head, now begins to journey down and into the chest and hopefully all the way down to the stomach area. For a breath to travel all the way from the nose to the stomach, it has to cover a longer distance and therefore will promote a slower and more full breath, than one that goes from nose to lungs (chest area). So by thinking about filling the stomach with air, instead of the lungs, we now have our mind in our stomach and our "Qi" there too.
Massage the Ear
Pressing the top of the ear, along the sides and pulling down on the earlobe can be a great practice to adopt at times when the head is full and you may feel 'trapped' inside your own thoughts. Pressing using the index finger and thumb is the strongest way to activate the points along the ear. And pressure needs to be strong and noticeable, to the point of making the ear feel very hot. But not so hard that you cause damage (piercing/bruising etc). Repeat this pressing motion along the top, side and earlobe to the tip, finishing with pulling quickly on the earlobe, up to 9 times each side. Then with closed eyes, focus on the sensations around the ears with a slow and steady breath. It's often hard to explain these types of techniques in writing, so if anyone wants a demonstration or a bit more of an explanation feel free to get in touch and I will happily talk it through in more detail.
Bach's Rescue Remedy Flower Essence
Not strictly Chinese medicine here, but I've seen miracles occur from this remedy so I always have a bottle in clinic. In Chinese Medicine terms, Rescue Remedy can help cool the Heart Qi and support the Kidney Qi to recover from getting over-anxious or over-excited. It's available in most health food stores and you can talk more with the staff there about its effects, uses and contraindications etc...
Of course these are just ideas you can try and if they work for you, that's great! It may reduce the frequency of anxiety attacks just to know you have a remedy for it. But if it's very severe or you're worried about it, always ask for help and support and follow your doctor's advice.