Anxiety is becoming a rising problem, but many people confuse it with worry. These are different and in TCM we treat them with different acupuncture points and herbal formulas. Anxiety is associated with your heart, and worry is associated with your spleen. This is the organ responsible for the production of chi, so worry depletes chi. We have less power to tackle life confidently – we worry even more. This impairs the spleen’s function of transformation and transportation – so we feel stuck. The spleen is also affiliated with obsession so we may obsess about worrying – we’ve become a chronic worrier. As the spleen is affiliated with thinking we overthink every situation, we lose spontaneity, lose our sense of adventure, and life is not enjoyable. We can’t avoid worry as life is always uncertain, the trick is to manage it so it doesn’t block our progress.

Worry is directly connected to things that have happened or you think may happen, but anxiety is lifestyle generated. When you feel anxious you might look for an explanation or reason but whatever you come up with is not necessarily connected. Anxiety is a response to all sorts of things that you can’t see and may never be aware of, it is a symptom of the heart. in TCM your heart is the hub of inner peace, but most of us are constantly surrounded by unsettled energies (unsettled chi) and this affects the functions of the heart.

Hectic city vibes, constant rushing, no time to connect to others organically and meaningfully. Digital connection / social media is great but it doesn’t settle your chi. Nutrient deficient diets, skipping or rushing though breakfast and lunch, no time for mindfulness, staying up late, not enough sleep and lack of spiritual connection, for example, all unsettle our chi. Plus, you are affected by the unsettled chi of the people around you at work, on the commute, even in the neighbourhood if it is built-up. Some people are extremely sensitive to this. The heart can’t handle this, and anxiety replaces inner peace.

Settle your chi daily with:

  • Rhythm: your organs need this to make you feel settled
  • Chi practice: breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi all counter the unsettled chi around you
  • Nutrients: via professional quality supplements
  • Diet: a mindful breakfast and lunch

Read more about my anti-anxiety chi-settling tips in Clock On To Health