Ask Vicki: Relationship Advice Using the Five Elements

Five Elements Fixes: Managing a Tendency to Worry

Dear Readers: Welcome to another Five Elements Quick Fix! 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. 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. I know these still aren’t normal times, but I think I’ve done pretty well during the pandemic. Yet as winter approaches, I’ve started worrying if we will possibly be able to have the traditional holiday celebrations this year? Will the people I care about continue to 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: These are still difficult time for most of us. In so many ways, “normal” life just isn’t normal anymore, and may never be again. And no surprise, 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 than usual to question everything. This 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 what we call worrying. This is especially true when the stakes are high and the answers remain vague.

Both staying safe and holiday gatherings are extremely important to the Earth personality. And while the holidays will hopefully be closer to normal than last year, there is no guarantee. In fact, what was normal a few years ago may never quite be normal again. We just have to wait and see. Yet because all of this is really important, our Earth energy keeps thinking and pondering about it. Prolonged focus on anything important without a suitable course of action for change can upset the balance of our Earth energy and rather easily become worry. I think that’s what’s going on for you.

The bottom line is that whether we are worried about the pandemic, the holidays, or something else entirely, balancing our Earth energy will always help manage worry. And the simple “oooom breath” exercise described above is a great place to start.

Blessings to you!


Tags: worry, pandemic, holidays, family

Categories: mental

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