Qigong for Anxiety
Practicing Qigong for anxiety and stress can be a very helpful tool to instantly calm our body and mind.
So many of us suffer from anxiety. It isn’t helped by all of the information coming to us constantly through media and social media channels. From the personal to the global, there seems to be so many things to worry about, and the more we look out at the world and take in all this information, the more our sense of safety and security can be threatened. The more we feel threatened, the more anxiety we feel, and it can really impact our health and wellbeing. It can diminish or even destroy our ability to move freely in our life and enjoy it.
How can we cope with this escalating fear and worry? We can spend less time on our phones and devices and take care with our social feeds to reduce the doom and gloom we see every day, but for most of us, this isn’t enough. We need to turn our focus inside and help our nervous system, body, and mind to deeply relax.
Yuan Qigong for stress relief
Yuan Qigong includes methods that help us to return to a relaxed, calm, and natural state within minutes.
Tian Yuan (Gathering Qi) is the first method of Yuan Qigong, and its simple, flowing movements are easy to learn and practice. The movements gather healthy Qi (energy) and positive information into the body and the mind activity integrates the separated self with the greater whole.
The second Yuan Qigong method is Di Yuan (Nourishing Qi). Di Yuan is a practice for building up a reserve of Qi in the body to extend the benefit of Qigong practice. This meditative standing practice begins the same way as Tian Yuan, or can directly follow a practice of Tian Yuan. It brings our focus inward, and helps to integrate and unify our mind and body in stillness while focusing attention on the Dantian, or energy storage areas, in the body. It helps us to change our habit of always focusing our attention outward, which is often the cause of our anxious feelings and responses, and to directly experience and reinforce the relaxed, calm, and natural state within.
You can try these first two Yuan Qigong practices and observe the immediate effect they have on the mind and body. With regular practice, these two methods alone can greatly reduce anxiety by replenishing Qi, curbing the habit of external focus, and reinforcing the habit of internal focus.
How to prepare for Qigong practice
You can start by standing (or, if necessary, sitting or lying down) in a comfortable position, relaxing the body with full breaths, and reciting or listening to the powerful Six Verses to unify the mind, body, and Qi with the natural flow of life and the universe. Take your time with this preparation because adjusting your state is the most important part of Qigong practice. The preparation alone does wonders to relieve anxiety and unease, and makes the practice itself much more enjoyable, powerful, and effective.
Qigong for the heart and consciousness
Practicing the first two methods of Yuan Qigong is a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety. Relief can be felt immediately, and benefits increase and improve with regular practice. However, the root cause of all kinds of emotional and psychological disturbance are habitual patterns of consciousness and thinking.
For most of us it seems like the circumstances of our lives and the external world are the sources of our anxiety, but it is really the way we perceive the external and how we react to it that causes problems for us. Each of us has infinite wisdom and capacity to handle all circumstances of life. These natural abilities are shadowed or obstructed by habitual ways of being based on patterns established when we are children to help us survive small and big trauma. If we really want to address our anxiety, we need to learn how to recognize and change unhealthy patterns.
Qigong for anxiety - powerful heart meditations
The seventh method of Yuan Gong is called Tong Yuan (Opening the Heart). Tong Yuan is a powerful tool for opening the heart. What do I mean by opening the heart?
Most of us live with a lot of doubt, fear, anxiety, and other negative feelings. These feelings are associated with patterns formed in childhood to protect us and can be said to reflect a closed heart. An open heart is one that freely, naturally, and spontaneously manifests the natural qualities of the human heart. These natural qualities are known as the five Xin in Ren Xue, and are unconditional Trust, Openness, Love, Gratitude, and Gongjing (humility and true respect).
These qualities are natural because they are already always there in each of us, even when they are covered up by our patterns. We are born with these qualities and they never leave us. When our heart is open, these qualities express themselves freely and we experience true happiness and peace.
I’ve experienced the benefits of Tong Yuan meditation first hand. One recent example is when my adult daughter was experiencing a very difficult time in her life, and I was afraid and doubtful that she would get through it. I felt so overwhelmed and powerless, like I couldn’t cope with the heartbreak I felt and my inability to fix it for her. I felt so anxious and worried and was having trouble enjoying my life at all.
I began to practice Tong Yuan on the heart quality of unconditional trust, and I felt myself open to the possibility that the wisdom of my True Self, my daughter’s True Self, and of the universe could be trusted. After a few practices, I could really feel the truth of this heart quality and observe its presence in every part of my life. With continued practice, I began to feel relieved, and the doubt and worry I felt was replaced with peace because I knew with unconditional trust that everything would be OK. The more I practiced, the more my doubt, fear, and worry were replaced with trust.
Practicing Tong Yuan meditation is an effective way to help us deal with anxiety and remember and feel these natural heart qualities. When we feel them, it can help us to transform the negative qualities that take over our thinking and behavior and give us an opportunity to view and deal with life from a more positive and powerful place.
Qigong for changing unhealthy patterns
The eighth method of Yuan Qigong is called Ling Yuan (Changing Patterns). Ling Yuan is a method to help us achieve a permanent change in our lives by addressing the deep-seated patterns that keep us stuck in negative feelings and experiences. Combined with the heart-opening power of Tong Yuan, Ling Yuan helps us effectively replace unhealthy patterns of consciousness completely.
In Ling Yuan meditation, we facilitate a direct exchange of information between the heart and Shen (the higher self or True Self). Instead of trying to think our way out of the problem, which is impossible because of the patterns that control our thinking, we get into a very calm, relaxed, and natural state and allow our open heart to give our True Self an opportunity to manifest its wisdom. We all have this capacity to engage our beautiful hearts and the unlimited wisdom of our True Self to replace unhealthy patterns with more healthy ones that are based on the natural heart qualities. The changes that occur with this practice are profound and lasting.
Whether you wish to calm your heart, change unhealthy patterns or just feel more relaxation and energy in the body to better cope with anxiety and stress, Yuan Qigong offers a variety of methods to suit the practitioner according to their needs and personal situation.
To start, we recommend getting familiar with Yuan Qigong by practicing the first two methods Tian Yuan (Gathering Qi) and Di Yuan (Nourishing Qi). Try our Beginner set and feel the difference.