Why Living in Harmony with Nature Will Help Heal Your Anxiety
By: Jamie Molnar
There are many different ways in which we can work on healing our anxiety. Medication, counseling, breathing, supplements – all of these are great options and can be very helpful, either on their own or in combination with one another.
But I think another important method that we don’t often talk about is living in tune with nature and the elements.
We are, after all, part of a larger ecosystem. We are one component of a large, collective energy full of other beings, big and small. We can feel the effects of the natural world around us and vice versa, our actions and energy can directly impact the world as well.
As wellness practitioners, this is particularly important. We absorb so much from our clients and patients on a daily basis that without tuning into our own energy shifts, we can easily become anxious, stressed and overwhelmed.
When we are completely disconnected with the natural cycles of the earth, the seasons, the energetic shifts that occur regularly and the rise and the fall of the sun each day, we can experience this even more so. All kinds of physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms, can come up from this lack of connection.
Anxiety in particular can make us feel overwhelmed, stressed, worried, and just feeling generally disconnected and like we are spinning out of control.
This is why grounding practices are so important – they help us reconnect with ourselves, the earth, and the world around us. When we are grounded and rooted to the earth, when we feel connected to the natural world, we have a sense of stability and certainty that helps us feel calm and balanced. And this allows us to be our best both personally and professionally.
In Eastern medicine, such as Acupuncture (Chinese medicine) or Ayurveda (Indian medicine), the elements of nature are very much a part of treatment. Practitioners are examining the person holistically and considering naturally occurring elements in nature (such as air, water, fire, etc.), seasons, climate, developmental stage of life, internal organs, the senses and many more. There is a respect for Natural Law, so the relationship between humans and the natural world is a foundational component of treatment.
Since we are currently in the Summer season, the focus of this post will be the Fire element, which represents the energy and warmth of summer. Fire is generally associated with the Heart organ system and represents our relationship to ourselves and to others; the ability to love and be loved. Fire is also associated with the ability to maintain control in your life. It represents heat, passion and intense energy.
As such, people with anxiety can often feel fiery. They can feel the need for constant movement, for excitement, for control of everything. Almost like everything is heightened and there is a constant buzzing.
Here are some other signs that you might be too fiery and need to find some balance:
Extreme anxiety or palpitations
OCD type behaviors
Lack of boundaries
Heart disease / heart issues
Neck and shoulder pain
So if you are feeling too fiery – like you are constantly buzzing and are disconnected from the natural cycles of Earth, and want to start feeling more grounded and calm, here are 3 simple ways to connect with the season of Summer and balance out that fiery energy:
1. Release that which no longer serves you.
Write down the things that are causing you distress, why they no longer serve you and why you need to let them go. Once you have read them, burn the piece of paper to symbolize you releasing them from your internal world.
2. Connect with friends and family.
Since Fire is rooted in our relationship to ourselves and others, it is important to build upon the relationships that help us feel warm, loved and nurtured. Who are those people in your life? How can you connect with them in a way that feels supportive? Who are the people that help you ground and find your inner calm?
3. Connect with the energy of Summer.
Take a moment to reflect on how you can tap into the vibes of the summer season. What are the seasonal foods of summer in your area? What kinds of outside activities can you engage in? How can you adjust your schedule to fit the rise and fall of the sun each day?