Stress is something we experience every day. Whether it is a financial, health, or relationship problem you might be facing, some mistakes or personal failures that worry you and keep you up at night, the countless responsibilities you have to fulfill every day, or the hectic schedule at work, these things affect your mental and physical health.
When you feel stressed, tense, or anxious for a longer period of time, this causes you to become less productive, both personally and professionally, and more prone to making wrong choices and unwise decisions. It simply prevents your body and mind from functioning properly.
And for your mind and body to function the way they should, you need to create a balance between them. You need to create a balance between your emotions and energy so as to be more productive and live a happier and more fulfilling life.
You can do this by practicing a simple hand exercise which belongs to the ancient Japanese practice that is called Jin Shin Jyutsu. (1)
This ancient health practice is used to balance energy and emotions in the body, which improves one’s well-being on a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual level. The hand exercise is actually a technique that incorporates holding each of your fingers and breathing deeply. The good thing is that this technique can be used by grown-ups as well as children and you can use it on your own or with another person.
The hand exercise is founded on the belief, which originates from the traditions of Eastern medicine, that our bodies have energy which moves from our internal body organs to our toes and the fingers on our hands. When an emotion doesn’t flow through your body, this causes your energy to get blocked. Another good thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere you want for 5 to 15 minutes depending on how long it’ll take you to feel its positive effects.
This technique combined with deep, slow breathing can greatly help you when you’re struggling with stress or feelings of anxiety and depression.
Practitioners of Jin Shin Jyutsu believe that there’s a close connection between every finger and different parts of your body as well as emotions. Gently touching the meridians of your hands can help relieve tension, i.e. balance your emotions and unblock your stagnant energy.
To practice Jin Shin Jyutsu effectively, you first need to know what emotion or organ each finger is connected with. We’ve presented that in what follows:
The thumb is associated with stress, grief, anxiety, emotional pain, tension, depression, skin conditions, stomach aches, and headaches.
The index finger is associated with panic, frustration, fear, confusion, digestive conditions, back aches, muscle pain, addiction issues, and teeth problems.
The middle finger is connected with resentment, rage, irritability, anger, fatigue, menstrual problems, blood circulation problems, headaches, and eye issues.
The ring finger is related to anxiety, negativity, preoccupation, and respiratory, digestive, and skin problems.
The little finger is associated with self-doubt, insecurity, bloating, blood pressure, heart diseases, and sore throat.
You can practice the hand exercise when you find yourself in a difficult situation or when you know you’ll soon find yourself in one. Practicing Jin Shin Jyutsu will help you feel calm, less stressed, and less tense. Of course, this technique won’t change the main cause of your problem or make it go away entirely, but it will certainly alleviate feelings of anxiety and tension and lower your stress levels. If you are a parent, you can teach your child how to use this technique by herself/himself if, let’s say, they’ll soon face a new situation, such as speaking in public, going to the doctor, or taking a test at school. (2)
Additionally, you can do the hand exercise before you go to bed as this can help you relax both your body and mind and fall asleep more easily.
If you see that this practice is working well for you, you can share it with a friend or family member who you know has been under stress lately and help them reduce it. For example, you can tell them: “I’ve found it helpful to hold and gently press my little finger and breathe slowly when I’m feeling insecure and doubting myself. You should give it a try.” Moreover, to teach them what emotion or organ each of the fingers is associated with, you can write the names of the emotions and organs on each finger or put stickers on them.
We hope that this simple yet powerful practice will help you balance your emotions and energy when you’re feeling anxious, tense, or stressed. But, we’d also like to mention that not everyone can reap the benefits of this practice. Moreover, you may find it effective once or several times and then discover that it doesn’t work anymore.