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Ding Sum is an effective method we can use to deal with stress. We all have stress - that uneasy feeling we get when we're upset, whether it's because we're angry, worried, depressed or disturbed for other reasons. Stress is our reaction to big problems, like getting into a car accident, or to smaller everyday problems, like getting stuck in traffic.

The term, Ding Sum comes from Chinese words that mean “calm heart.” The first step of the Ding Sum method is to “calm our heart” and silence our noisy upset thoughts, so we have translated the term “Ding Sum” as “Silencing Our Thoughts.”

THOUGHTS AND STRESS

Stress begins from our thoughts. It is not the situation itself, but rather our reaction to it, the upset thoughts we have, that is the seed from which stress grows. “Silencing Our Thoughts” specifically addresses stress at this root cause - our thoughts when we first react to a situation. When we use Ding Sum, we stop and silence those upset thoughts and feelings, right when they first start, before they grow into a much bigger problem.

Ding Sum directly addresses the very situation that we are upset about. After we stop those initial upset thoughts, Ding Sum teaches us to calmly assess the facts of the situation in order to make a good decision that helps the situation and everyone involved. Then, we follow through on that decision with deliberate positive action that helps to resolve the situation. Finally, we re-evaluate the situation, review it to learn how we can improve our responses in the future.

ORIGIN OF DING SUM

Dr. Gordon Fung, a cardiologist, and Dr. Gregory Fung, a gastroenterologist, first learned of “Ding Sum” in the late 1980’s. They noticed the remarkable improvement in one particular patient who was recovering from a heart attack. The medical community had long recognized the negative impact stress has on our health and both doctors noted that their patient’s dramatic improvement was due to a reduction in his stress. The patient attributed his reduction in stress to a method he called “ Ding Sum.” And so, Ding Sum was born from the life experience and struggles of this patient as he learned to overcome and handle his stress.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM USING DING SUM

Since 1989, Drs. Gordon and Gregory Fung have taught this method to others who have learned it, practiced it and greatly benefited from it. Under the doctors’ guidance, volunteers give free monthly seminars on Ding Sum as a way to deal with stress. These seminars are currently held at over 30 different sites, including neighborhood senior centers and substance recovery centers throughout San Francisco.

Ding Sum has helped countless people handle their stress in life, from the everyday stresses of family life - raising small children and dealing with teenagers, to the challenges of the work place - dealing with coworkers and demanding bosses, to the problems of daily living that can frustrate the elderly, to the unique difficulties of individuals struggling to overcome substance abuse, and for all those who want to maintain a “calm heart” as they go through their daily situations. Ding Sum is a simple yet highly effective tool that will help anyone handle stress, make better decisions and live their life better. We invite you to explore our site to learn more about this important tool for your life. If you are new to our site, we suggest that you go through the topics in order. 

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