Is stress taking on a larger role in your life than you would like? For the vast majority of us, the answer is a resounding YES!
Stress on the body and Mind is the root cause of all life problems, including physical, mental, social, family, relationship, economic, and spiritual issues.
Body and Mind are not two distinct entities; instead, they are reflections of one another. All physical health issues have their origins in the Mind. And our physical body reflects all of our mental stress and psychological fears. The Ayurvedic approach to stress management focuses on relieving pressure from the Nervous System while improving overall body relaxation.
Ayurveda for Stress
Ayurveda provides profound insights into the nature of stress and what we can do about it. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are mind-body types that help us understand why the body functions in specific ways and how we can best support ourselves.
- Anxiety, worry, and fear are primary responses of Vata. The air element is easily ungrounded, losing touch with reality and jumping to worst-case or what-if scenarios.
- Pitta’s primary emotions are rage, frustration, and impatience. A lack of control can trigger Pitta’s hot temper.
- Kapha’s primary reaction is depression, fatigue, and withdrawal. They may suppress their emotions and numb themselves with food, drugs, or television.
The main focus for managing stress is Vata balance. Follow these simple steps to manage stress:
Stay close to nature
Vata is the element of movement made up of air and space. Take a walk through the woods, up the mountains, or along the beach. Remove your shoes and walk barefoot to immerse yourself in nature truly. Popular in the 1800s as a concept known as ‘earthing.’
Pranayama means “breath control.” Our breath is our life force energy, and by deepening and lengthening it, we can increase prana and calmness in our Mind and body. There are many breathing techniques in yoga and Ayurveda, but my favorites for calming and rebalancing Vata are ujjaya, Nadi shodhana, and Brahmani.
Using oil externally through self-massage can truly rebalance any Vata aggravation. Before showering with warm oil, Self-massage is performed, beginning at the top of the head and working down to the toes. It is not only nourishing and nurturing for the skin, but it is also incredibly hydrating. Some lovely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha-balancing herbal oils are available, as well as traditional medicated oils like ashwagandha, mahanarayana, dashamoola, and dhanwantaram.
One of the favorite adaptogenic herbs, and it’s no surprise that it’s known as the “King of Herbs” because it has such a unique auto-balancing effect on the body and Mind. It stimulates the parasympathetic (rest) nervous system while calming the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system. What distinguishes ashwagandha is its ability to both calm and energize the body at the same time. It is an excellent option for balancing Vata and reducing stress when taken regularly.
Routine and regularity
Maintaining routine and regularity in our daily patterns is the single most crucial balancing factor for Vata, and this is especially important when it comes to sleep and eating habits. Allow yourself 60-90 minutes to prepare for bed by avoiding screen and industrial lights, as well as anything that stimulates or irritates the Mind and body. Dim the lights, light a few candles, play soothing music, give yourself a foot massage, and drink your ashwagandha with hot milk.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can be highly levied on your mental and physical health and significantly impact your daily life. Ayurveda has many therapies, herbs, and ingredients that can help you heal holistically. You can try these herbs and formulations because they have no adverse side effects and are non-addictive.