A better question is what are you worrying about? This is an issue that comes up over and over in my practice. We have to worry about some things, but when we worry about the wrong things we can make ourselves sick. In Chinese Medicine theory, imbalanced emotional expression is a primary cause of physical and psychological disease. In my clinical practice helping my clients understand the roles that emotions play in their lives is a big part in helping them on their healing path.
Worry is often seen as unproductive, and it often is. It can also seen as a badge of honor, because you care about the world. This type of worry is a major cause of disease. In traditional Chinese Medicine, each emotion has the potential to be either positive or negative. The highest expression of worry is to guide us towards integrity. Being in integrity starts with being responsible for your self and not expecting others to take care of you. It is only when we are attending to our own needs appropriately that we can be honest about what we can and cannot do in life. Worrying about everyone else instead of our own health and own affairs divides our attention and energy and is not living in integrity.
People often consider selflessness a virtue, and think of selflessness as a characteristic to aspire to, but selflessness is not living in integrity. Selflessness is a rejection of the gift of life. Over concern for the affairs of the world or others stems from an inability to have faith in the idea that everyone has their own connection to universal consciousness – we don’t have to solve every problem we see. True charity and altruism start with being strong in your self, rather than denying your own needs.
How does this relate to health? Worry is the energy that drives our digestion. Without strong digestion we can nourish ourselves and make Qi. It takes energy to grow and it even takes energy to laugh. Without energy from food, we cannot do anything. When we worry about problems that our not ours to fix we take energy from our digestion, and we weaken ourselves and our ability to truly contribute to the world. When our energy is low, the world seems overwhelming and depressing.
Physical symptoms that accompany imbalances in the Earth element often come from inappropriate worry. If you suffer from poor digestion, tiredness, or chronic fatigue, lack of appetite, abdominal bloating, water retention, constipation or loose stools, weakness, dizziness and fibromyalgia you may be worrying about the wrong thing.
Letting go of problems that aren’t ours leads to integrity and we can be present to our selves, others and our connection to God. Turn off the news, go for a walk, and be happy.
Find out more about our emotions, our beliefs and how they relate to our spiritual and physical health in the Your Five Faces of God audio course.