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  • Writer's pictureMaria Alda Gomez Otero

Tai Chi for Anxiety

#Tai chi is a martial art that has been used in China for centuries to improve health. In Chinese medicine there is no separation between body and mind, so mental and physical conditions are interlinked and the patient is treated as a whole. Have you ever received a shock and suddenly got a stomach upset? This is how linked our bodies and our minds are.

When you are in a state of permanent anxiety, it is your sympathetic nervous system who is ruling the game. The sympathetic nervous system was designed to be activated during dangerous situations, in which only a few bodily functions are tended to, because there is an imminent danger. We need to fight or run away, and our bodies mobilise all our resources to fight or run away, neglecting essential bodily functions while the danger is present. If we believe that we are in constant danger (anxiety), we are neglecting our bodies. The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, resumes all bodily functions. Optimum health comes from a sympathetic parasympathetic balance. Tai chi for #anxiety can help in different ways.

Tai chi will activate your parasympathetic nervous system: A regular tai chi practice will increase your chances of activating your parasympathetic nervous system, calming down your anxiety and resuming all your bodily vital functions.

Tai chi is a moving meditation: There are many other ways of activating your parasympathetic nervous system, but many of them require you to sit down or lay down and relax. This might be too difficult if you are feeling very anxious. Tai chi is a moving meditation, which means that you will be moving and calming down your nervous system at the same time.

Tai chi will bring you clarity: Very often you become anxious because you need to make changes in yoursef or your life and you are not sure where to start. This is because of the activation of your nervous system. Once your nervous system has calmed down, tai chi will help you to clear your mind and you will get insights on what to do next and how to change things at a pace that suits you.

Tai chi can reduce conflict in your life: As you find yourself becoming more relaxed, conflict may decrease as you will be more chilled and will not take things so personally. You will be more open to listen to your loved ones, be more playful and less irritable. Or you will be able to solve conflict at work while remaining calm.

Tai chi is a great tool to reduce your anxiety levels, but it is not a miracle cure. If you have severe anxiety, bear in mind that you might still need to complement your tai chi (or yoga or other practice) with counselling and psychotherapy sessions.

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