For Anxiety & Stress
Written by Chris Eddy
We all know that stress effects us negatively in so many ways. We have seen statistics of stress being the driver behind the majority of diseases effecting humans, chronic inflammation and mental health issues. So what do we do about it? Where is it? Who’s fault is it? Was I just born stressed and anxious? How do i get rid of it?
Well, to be honest, it’s too complicated to answer all those questions so i’ll skip to the chase and tell you what worked for me. I was born anxious, shy and easily stressed. And i’m quite reserved to say that is just the way it is. Things have drastically improved since my teenage years, but, I think i’ll just always be a bit that way and just need to manage my stress. No big deal. So, stress management is very important for me to not get myself all worked up, say the wrong things, get shitty with everyone.
So, here goes:
Do some work on yourself:
Invest in therapy or a psychologist or a priest or life coach or course… whatever works and you feel
comfortable. To be honest, I saw many kooks in the early years. I spent money on woo woo horse shit and went off on the wrong path. But that’s fine, now I know what I really want and what is the REAL thing. Or, at least what works for me. And what worked for me was a great psychologist (and I went through approximately 20, you probably will too). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Yes, what the hell is that. Look it up. Basically a psychologist combines CBT, talking therapy and a few other things to get to the bottom of your issues and then after a few sessions makes you look left and right to integrate and diffuse the trauma in your mind through integrating the left and right hemispheres, basically. It is a thing, and it does work. To a degree. It was a great piece to the puzzle for me.
Now, some of you are probably like “I tried that and it didn’t work, I fell asleep, or I just kept thinking
more”, others, especially the ‘perfectionists’ will be “no way, I can’t stand sitting there with my eyes closed, I hate that shit, it doesn’t work for me”, and then, some others will be like, “yep, I know it’s great, and i feel so good when i do it, it’s just that, well, uh, I always find it hard to find the time”. So, fair enough to everyone, it is absolutely hard to meditate well. But, it is, without a doubt, the #1 thing that helped me on the deepest level when I was doing it for 2 hours a day for months. And that’s the thing, you get out what you put in, it’s purely motivation and persistence with this one. Oh, and doing it correctly. But, simplest is best. Just sit, breathe, focus on breath coming in and going out, when the thoughts come, let them, but don’t follow the story, come back to the breath … that’s it. Hard work, but worth it. PS, only got 14 minutes spare.. ‘Calm‘ app is really good.
Having a laugh at yourself, and others of course, is crucial. The mere act of constantly taking
yourself rigidly serious, without respite, will eventually ruin you. Humor often comes from going with the flow and a reaction to life, but often hard times. The best comedians in the world have often gone through very dark times. “But it’s hard, i’m just down and pissed off, how can I see things in a humorous light!?” Good question, i’m not saying it’s easy, but I know from my own dark times, the funny place in my mind probably saved my life. The draw back there is ‘cognitive dissonance’ or, basically getting lost in fantasy land, but sometimes reality isn’t great and it’s the best way your being knows to give you a mental holiday. Next time you feel your guts getting tight and your shoulders raising, breathe into it, and think of the most ridiculous reinterpretation of the situation, just go wild, why not!? It’s worth a try. Otherwise, give a funny friend a call and have a light hearted yabber.
Well, caveat here, I am of course an acupuncturist. However, over the last year i have discovered
a really powerful set of acupuncture points in the ear to treat Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome(PTSD). But the thing is, you can use it for pretty much any condition, because stress is always involved on some level. Be it mental tension or inflammation, these are all forms of stress on the body. Here is a great link and explainer: Link
Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability is great as a tool. It is a biofeedback mechanism to monitor your heart rate rhythm. It takes this rhythm and puts this data through a program and basically shows you how out of sync your heart rate is. This data is then correlated to how much stress your body is under, and it’s quite accurate (i’ve tested it over 5 years, it works). So, you hook up a monitor to your wrist or ear, watch the screen and alter your breathing until your score improves. Very simple and effective.
I find this is the most accurate HRV sensor: Link
Supplements are good just as that, as supplementation to other work on yourself. Some people swear by ‘Rescue Remedy’ but personally it did absolutely nothing for me.
I much prefer two things. One is ‘Tissue Salts’ from Schuessler: Link
Don’t know how it works, but it works well, and consistently well for me. And, it’s only around $10.
The other is Chinese herbal medicine. I make my own tonic based on a 1,800 year old formula called ‘Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu LI Tang’. I make an alcohol based tincture of this formula for $30 that is great for anxiety, poor sleep and stress, if the person suits the formula.
I hope all this helps and reaches someone out there that is suffering and changes your life for the better.
Acupuncture combined with lifestyle, herbal medicine and diet changes can offer treatment for various conditions including Cystitis/UTI, Restless Leg Syndrome, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Male Infertility, Prostadynia, asthma, acne, hay fever, sinusitis, weight loss, pelvic pain, rectal pain, female infertility, morning sickness, period pain, general pain, PTSD and many more.
Chris Eddy is a registered doctor of Chinese medicine and university lecturer. He has been treating for the last 15 years in his city practice in Melbourne, Australia.