5 Common Patterns That Cause Stress (+ How Qi Gong Can Help You Overcome Them)

Holden QiGong
5 min readMay 7, 2024


Do you ever find yourself feeling stressed out or anxious, but you’re not sure how to let go of these unpleasant feelings? Modern life is full of stressors that can erode your sense of inner peace and well-being. Fortunately, ancient Qi Gong principles can help you let go of stress and regain harmony when life feels challenging.

Qi Gong is an ancient practice designed to calm your nervous system and help you experience greater vitality. In fact, at its core, Qi Gong is a practice for less stress and more energy. And unlike many prescription pills, there are no negative side effects to practicing Qi Gong.

In recognition of “National Stress Awareness Month,” we decided to share a blog that explains five patterns that commonly lead to stress in the modern world, and how to naturally overcome them with Qi Gong.

1. Excessive Thinking

External stimuli can certainly contribute to stress, but one of the biggest stressors lies within the human mind — your thoughts. Excessive thinking can quickly lead to intense feelings of stress or anxiety if left unchecked.

It’s normal and natural to engage in thinking about the past or future, but such thoughts can sometimes have negative consequences. When you direct your mind towards all of the potentially bad outcomes that could happen in the future, your entire nervous system responds as if those outcomes are actually happening in the present.

In other words, ‘bad’ things don’t actually need to happen for you to be affected by them. Even just your thoughts can shift your energy system and lead to stress. Fortunately, one of the core principles of Qi Gong can help you avoid the stress-inducing pitfall. There is a saying in Qi Gong, “Where the mind goes, the Qi flows.”

To overcome this pattern of excessive thinking, you first must create some spaciousness between your mind and your thoughts. Notice that you’re engaged in excessive thinking, and realize that your thoughts don’t actually reflect what’s happening in the present moment. Then, try to release your thinking pattern and come back to the present moment.

Because excessive thinking can be a habitual pattern, it may take some time before you’re able to consistently release your thoughts and let go of the stress that’s associated with them. However, if you make a point of noticing excessive thinking and letting it go, over time, you’ll start to develop a new habit of living more fully in the present moment, leading to significantly lower stress levels.

2. Trying To Control Your External Environment

Humans love to feel like they are in control, especially when it comes to their external environment. However, trying to control people or situations is a recipe for internal stress and disharmony, not to mention external conflict.

Qi Gong teaches us that individuals have limited control over what happens in the external world. You can’t decide the weather, the traffic, or other people’s thoughts or behaviors. What you do have more control over is what happens within yourself.

Instead of focusing on trying to control the world around you, try to stay present with your internal experience and work with that. Try to let go and find a sense of flow within yourself and the world around you. By releasing the need to control others and focusing on yourself, you’ll naturally release stress and experience greater internal peace.

3. Constant Busyness

If you live a fast-paced life, it can be easy for stress to build up and accumulate over time. It’s great to be engaged in things you love, but if you don’t take time to slow down, it can backfire.

When you’re constantly busy, your nervous system gets ‘stuck’ in a fight-or-flight mode, which increases cortisol levels and leads to more stress. Relaxing, on the other hand, allows your parasympathetic nervous system to kick in, which recharges your mind and body, allowing you to release stress. Therefore, it’s important to dedicate time to slow down and recharge on a regular basis.

4. Too Much Energy In Your Head

All of the patterns mentioned above are connected to an energetic imbalance within the body. When you’re always thinking and busy, energy moves to your head and away from the rest of your body. This is known as “tired and wired,” and is closely associated with high levels of stress as well as insomnia.

To rebalance your energy system, it’s important to move your Qi downward into your body. Doing physical activities such as hiking or Qi Gong are great ways to engage your body and help rebalance your energy system. When you’re able to awaken the energy in your body and move Qi downward, it helps you to release stress and regain inner balance.

5. Not Prioritizing Healthy Habits

Most behavior patterns that lead to chronic stress have one thing in common. They lack a strong foundation of consistent, healthy habits.

Instead of waiting until stress builds up, it’s important to proactively cultivate a balanced energy system that allows you to stay grounded and centered. There is a saying in Qi Gong that sums up this wisdom: Don’t wait until you’re dying of thirst to build your well. Rather, build it when you’re still healthy and strong.

Similarly, the best approach to minimizing stress is to create habits that support a healthy body and mind. Some of these habits include getting good sleep, eating a healthy diet, spending time with loved ones, and having a practice that helps you cultivate a balanced energy system.

Use Qi Gong Practices To Naturally Let Go Of Stress And Cultivate Inner Tranquility…

Qi Gong naturally helps shift your nervous system from fight-or-flight (sympathetic) to rest-and-digest (parasympathetic). When you make this switch, you experience a deep sense of relaxation that allows you to release any stress and tension held in your body.

There are several stages of most Qi Gong routines, including activating your Qi, letting go of stagnant energy (including stress!), and cultivating vitality throughout your entire being. If you’re interested in experiencing the stress-reducing qualities of Qi Gong for yourself, be sure to check out our 30-Day Qi Gong Challenge.

When you sign up for our 30-Day Qi Gong Challenge, you’ll get to try thirty unique Qi Gong routines that are each just seven minutes long. This makes it easy to find time to practice each and every day, helping you to establish a positive habit for less stress and more energy. Learn more and start the 30-Day Qi Gong Challenge today.