3 Quick Ways to Calm Anxiety
Anxiety is not an evil entity trying to ruin your life, or the product of an unhappy childhood; it is simply the messenger for emotions that need to be expressed in the body. Every human has emotions, which makes every human prone to anxiety. The good news is that there is so much we can do to free ourselves from it completely.
I always saw anxiety as a condition that appeared out of nowhere, a force that I couldn't control, and I thought I would have to cope with it for the rest of my life. It was only through my own healing that I discovered anxiety was very different from what I believed it to be.
When I start working with a client, they are often most concerned with what caused the anxiety in the first place. "I can't remember anything so bad in my life that I should have anxiety like this!" they tell me. But the truth is that anxiety does not usually have one cause. Anxiety is not a mysterious condition that pops up suddenly when everything is going perfectly in life, but rather is a side effect of a long-standing unhealthy pattern of ignoring or suppressing emotions that need to be addressed. The anxiety you are experiencing likely didn't come out of nowhere, although it certainly might seem like it. Anxiety can show up suddenly, but the imbalances related to it have likely been brewing in your energy system for a long time.
It's essential to understand that anxiety is not a single emotion; it's a dynamic that affects your entire system—including your energy system.
I grew up understanding my body as the physical mass that was a home for my organs, caused me grief as an awkward teenager, and made me clumsy in sports. But really, our bodies are so much more than we see. Everything in the universe (including human beings) is all just energy. We are made of an intricate energy system where electrical impulses run through us. These impulses have an effect on every part of our body: our organs, muscles, glands, and more. Every part of us interacts with this energy system, including our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. In fact, our emotions are really just energy, too!
I see the energy system as the overarching network that encompasses both the mind and the body, and energy therapy is a way "in" so we can access the emotions stored in our system and release them. By using energy therapy we can calm the body and release stuck emotions.
While the work of discovering the cause of—and releasing—anxiety can take a bit more effort, there are several simple techniques you can do to calm anxiety right now.
Here are three of my favorite practices that will take two minutes or less.
Tap or Rub the Panic Point
There is a magic place on the top of either hand that is very helpful for calming the body down. It's about halfway down the top of the hand, in between the pinky and ring fingers. By tapping or rubbing this spot, called the gamut point, we can actually calm down its energy, which will have a direct effect on the body. Simply tap or rub this spot using three or four fingers of your other hand. Use this technique along with deep breaths. This one is perfect to do under a restaurant table or a desk. Because this spot is located directly on the energy pathway of the triple warmer meridian (the energy pathway that governs your fight, flight, or freeze response), working with it actually sends a message to that energy force to back off from being in overprotective mode and chill out.
Energy is supposed to flow in a crossover pattern in the body; this is the body's natural pattern. There are many natural crossover patterns that are inherent in the body: the brain uses both the left and the right hemisphere together, our arms swing across our body when we walk, we crawl in a crossover direction when we are young, and even the shape of our DNA is a crossover pattern.
If your energy system has gotten out of this crossover pattern, it will begin to flow in an up-and-down pattern instead. This is what energy pioneer Donna Eden calls a "homolateral" energy flow in her popular book Energy Medicine. When your energy is running in this homolateral pattern, you are not functioning at your full healing capacity. In my experience, this homolateral flow has a very negative effect on our emotions and thoughts, creating a feeling of being scrambled, stressed, and out of control. That's why it's essential to correct this flow when dealing with anxiety. Simple tracing over your eyes can unscramble your energy and calm anxiety, often instantly.
The thymus gland is the master gland of the body's immune system and is located in the upper part of the chest, behind the breastbone. It sits right over the heart. The thymus is responsible for making T-cells, which are vital to the healthy functioning of the immune system, providing protection against allergies, autoimmune diseases, and immunodeficiency. The thymus gland is connected to the entire energy system and is so powerful that it can work as a stress modulator when stimulated.
A lot of people are naturally drawn to the thymus area when they are feeling anxious and don't even realize that their body is trying to help them tend to this special gland. Do you ever "flutter" your chest with your hands when you're upset? Think of how gorillas in the wild thump their chests if they perceive danger. In both these cases, it's a natural tendency to strengthen and balance our energy when we need it most. See, you're already doing this by accident! Now we're going to help you do it on purpose, too. How to Tap the Thymus: Tapping the thymus gland using your fingertips is a powerful calming, strengthening, and balancing technique. It's especially useful when you're feeling anxious. Simply tap with medium pressure while you breathe deeply and tune in to the anxiety. Don't try to push it away; allow it to be. Tapping will help usher it out of your body if you allow it to come up.
When and How To Use These Techniques
The best times to use these techniques are both when you're feeling anxious and a few times throughout the day (which can actually help prevent the buildup of emotions that create anxiety).
I often have clients set alarms on their phone and take a few two-minute breaks during their day to practice these techniques. After all, now that you have these new tools to release anxiety, your only job is to use them.
Article by Amy B. Scher. Originally published in the Lewellyn Journal. Reprinted with permission.