Stress – Problem of today’s life
Stress is a normal psychological and physical response to the day-to-day demands of life. The feeling of being overloaded with mental or emotional pressure can turn into stress when you feel unable to cope. While a certain level of stress can be motivational for one person, the same level may overwhelm someone else.Too much stress causes the body’s defence system – known as “fight-or-flight” – to kick in. The nervous system releases a flood of stress hormones that include adrenaline and cortisol. This emergency stress response causes the heart to pound faster, imbalanced blood sugar levels, blood pressure to rise, muscles to tighten and breathing to become more rapid. Stress can also leave you more vulnerable to mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety.
According to Ayurveda, stress is closely related to three vital energies (doshas)in our body – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The amount of negative stress depends on the proper balance of these doshas. To maintain good health and positive amounts of stress, it’s important to fine-tune these doshas to be in perfect balance. Moreover, every person has one of these dominant doshas in them that defines their personality.
These doshas are the key to understanding the triggers behind your stress and adopt the right stress management skills to fight them.
Vata – This energy is all about quick-thinking, creativity, innovation and intuition. If this is the dominant dosha in you, then you may be prone to life changes that can make you feel anxious or panicked. An increase in this dosha will manifest itself through fear, anxiety, insomnia, isolation etc.
Pitta – This energy can be described as determined, intelligent, competitive and confident. It can be revealed through irritability, frustration and anger. The symptoms of triggers in Pitta can include sweating, heartburn, diarrhea and hypertension.
Kapha – This energy is known for being strong, steady, reliable and rooted. Kapha-dominant people can be resistant to change and are less flexible and more stubborn in uncomfortable situations which can create stress. The stress can be manifested through comfort eating, lack of motivation, tiredness, etc.
Ayurveda’s approach to stress management lies in the attainment of peace (Shanthi). It doesn’t see the body and the mind as two different entities but as reflections of each other. This is because the sources of physical health problems stem from the mind and the repercussions of mental ailments are reflected in the physical body. The key to effective stress management as per Ayurveda lies in treating the nervous system.
Ayurvedic techniques are one of the most ancient stress busters known to exist. It helps answer important questions such as how to overcome anxiety or how to deal with stress. Precaution is better than cure. This is the exact approach that Ayurveda follows. Instead of trying to fix stress or anxiety symptoms, it tries to find a solution to the root cause.
According to Ayurveda, the key to effective stress management lies in trying to avoid stress and strengthening the body’s adaptive power to deal with stress. The best way to avoid stress is by having a thorough understanding of your stress triggers and doshas, as discussed above. The second option i.e. increasing the coping capability of the body can be achieved through lifestyle modifying natural remedies, dietary changes and lastly intake of Ayurvedic herbs.
Diet and lifestyle tips for stress management:
Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate the effect stress is having on your physiology. Therefore, addressing key dietary and lifestyle factors is imperative if you want to create lasting change and true wellness. Ayurvedic detox and Sirodhara are elixir of Ayurveda to overcome stress effectively and efficiently.
Yoga ,Pranayama and Meditation
Yoga, Breathing and meditation balance the heart rate and promote relaxation. Deep breathing is also a central part of mindfulness meditation. A good way to take stress off the adrenals and the body/mind/spirit complex is to find the time to meditate and chanting daily. The body and breathe are much interconnected, and when we meditate on gentle rhythmic breathing for as little as 10 mins a day, it can have profound effects on stress reduction.Try yoga to keep your body fit and mind calm,
Ways to live a holistic lifestyle
It’s more important in today’s unprecedented situation to focus on mental health just like physical health. Ayurveda promotes multiple preventive approaches in order to stay healthy and happy. Ayurveda promotes an appropriate lifestyle, good eating/drinking habits, use of herbs and spices in food and integrate contemplation in your life. Ayurveda believes prevention is best and first approach.It’s important to stay relaxed physically as well as mentally in the current restrictions and social distancing. Apart from socializing electronically with your love-ones, few other tips you can follow to get relaxed and calm mentally while maintaining social distancing.
1. Meditation and Pranayama
Practising meditation and chanting is one of the best mindful leaving tips as it soothes anxiety and depression during this COVID-19 pandemic. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to ease stress and anxiety as each breath sends a message to your brain to slow down and relax. Breathing technique Pranayama is the gift of Ayurveda to the world to provide calmness and restful state. To enjoy a multi-sensory experience and reap the full benefits of mediation and chanting, consider pairing meditation practice with aromas of Ayurveda herbs.
How to perform Pranayama in steps
- Create a fist, rest your index and middle finger over your third eye to balance you within this practice.
- Release your pinkie and thumb. Covering your right nostril with your thumb, breathe through your left nostril in a proper in and out rhythm.
- Next cover up your left nostril with your pinkie by releasing your thumb than breathe in and out through your right nostril.
- Close your eye and alternate between the two by focusing on long inhalation and exhalations. Repeat it up to 10 to 15 minutes
2.Yoga and exercise
A healthy body can hold the healthy mind, its most important to keep your body moving in today’s restriction to stay healthy. Yoga and exercise can keep your body in proper shape and endorphins released by your body will improve your mood and provide strength mentally to stay fit and active. Yoga is a great way to achieve these goals and can easily be practised at home and with minimal equipment, making it a great way to clear your mind and stay healthy while socially isolating. Yoga is the best way to relax, improve flexibility, have more energy and to find inner peace. It’s the best way to balance the body and mind connection for increased well being and improved physiology.
- Benefits of Yoga
- Improves quality of life
- Improves flexibility and balance
- Improves sports performance
- Decrease anxiety and depression
- Sustained weight maintenance
- Improves sleep quality
- Slows aging
- Improves heart functioning
- Menopause relief
- Improves sex life
3.Tongue Scraping and Gargling
The idea behind tongue scraping is to effectively remove micro-organism and to stimulate your organs. Do this as part of your morning ritual to reap the rewards. Gargling with ginger juice and rock salt or normal lukewarm saline water is helpful.
4.Neti and Nasya
To keep allergies and virus at bay or support your meditation practice or help in relief headaches and anxiety perform Neti and nasya daily to strengthen your nasal membrane. Use of nasal oils can help strengthen the nasal membranes.You can use nasyam‘anu tail’ and put two warm drops in each nostril daily in the morning and inhale.
It is very important to balance your agni(digestion and metabolism) to avoid build-up of ama(toxin).Balancing the Kapha in order to keep the channels open, which is supportive of the lungs and to balance your pitta, which plays a role in fever.
6 Immunity booster tea and herbs
Tea with the following herbs: Turmeric (fresh), Ginger (fresh), Basil(Tulsi) leaves (fresh or dried), Coriander seeds, Guduchi (only powder available), Cumin seeds and Cinnamon. Take all ingredients in equal proportion according to perserve, except Ginger ½ proportion.
Guduchi – Immune protector and fever-reducing
Tulsi or Basil – Good in fever and good for lungs
Ginger – Good for Agni (digestion) and cleansing body fluids
Liquorice – Protecting mucous membranes, supporting the immune system (avoid in case of high blood pressure).
Amala- Richest source of vitamin C
These tips helps to improve digestive fire(agni), immunity, relax the mind, enhance the body strength and balancing hormones level.
All information and resources referenced in this article, including herbal preparations, exercise and dietary recommendations are based on the opinion. All content is intended to inform and encourage you to seek professional advice if the symptoms are present.
Seasonal health tips as per your Doshas
Basic principle of Ayurveda revolves around 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) that governs not only our own constitution, but everything else in the cosmos too. Instead of winter, spring and summer, we can break the seasons into vata season, which goes from late fall into early winter; Kapha season, from winter into spring and pitta season, which includes from summer into early fall. In season, one dosha is elevated and dominant as compare to others.
Understanding the qualities of each of these seasons can help you reduce any adverse effects. Remember that your predominant dosha increases during the season it governs, so take care to choose foods and activities that will pacify and not aggravate it.
Ayurveda characterizes vata dosha as light, dry, rough, hard, mobile, irregular, cool- the very qualities we associate with late fall and early winter. During this period, you need to watch out for dry skin,irregular digestion and the distracted, unpredictable energy of the “holi-daze,” which can easily leave you depleted and distracted by all the excitement.
Take extra care to keep your internal fire (agni) ignited. Eat warm, moist foods—think stews, soups, and root veggies and avoid salads and cold snacks.
Cosy up to a warm fire or snuggle up with a good book, a cup of chai (hot tea) and a warm blanket. Warm golden milk laced with kesar is a perfect night time tonic. Make sure you do yoga and meditation practices routinely to keep your internal fire kindled. Other helpful Ayurvedic practices (dinacharya) including abyhanga and Ayurvedic Detox will help you stay steady and feel comforted.
According to Ayurveda, characters of Kapha dosha are heavy, dense, wet, gooey, stable and cool qualities which are disturbed by winter season, when the ground freezes solid to early spring.
Turn to foods that are lighter, drier, pungent and warming. Consumes sprouts, berries, dandelion, Basil, Ginger and other spring greens- which naturally support this time of cleansing. And stick to three meals a day to avoid overindulging.
Do things that get you up and out of the house-early. Get up before kapha time (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.), and get in some exercise-bike riding, walking or light aerobic activity, yoga-before 10 a.m. This schedule will help you fend off seasonal weight gain.
Daily use of your tongue scraper, neti pot, gargling and nasya oil will help with seasonal allergies and keep kapha from building.
Characters of Pitta dosha are lighter in nature, slightly moist, intense, hot and sharp which is also the characters of pitta season (start of autumn and summer)
A use of aloe vera juice will saturate your internal heat. Summer bounty offers plenty of ways to keep cool: cucumbers, mint, summer squash, zucchini, coconut juice.
Staying out of the sun during pitta time (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) helps keep your mental and emotional energy from overheating.
Pitta types can become intolerant and intense, so adds a cool breathing practice like pranayama to balance things out. Doing lateral yoga poses like janushirshasana (head to knee pose) or utthitaparshvakonasana (side angle pose) will dissipate the internal heat, and a rubdown with coconut oil will cool your skin.
Do you struggle to get through your day? Do you feel heavy and dense? Are you tired from being tired?
You are not alone! Of course, we all experience some degree of tiredness from today’s lifestyle. Fatigue is a term used to describe prolonged tiredness and serious lack of energy. Fatigue’s that almost overwhelming physical, emotional and mental tiredness. It may be caused by lack of sleep, your medications, depression, your actual condition e.g. thyroid, anaemia etc or just the very fact of living with persistent pain.
Fatigue can make everyday activities seem too hard and can get in the way of you doing the things you enjoy. When fatigue is prolonged and lasts for a few days, it might be time to think about the solution.
Ayurveda views Fatigue as an imbalance of Dosha’s and accumulation of Ama(toxins) in body.
Inability to cope with stress
Lower back pain
Foggy mind and irritation
Craving for sweet foods
Yawning and laziness
Wake up very tired
Generalized aches in the body
Numbness and tingling sensation
Fatigue variates person to person some juggling with all of them or some have one of them.
Mentally exhausted, Brain fog, Less concentration, stress, anxiety these all symptoms in ayurveda corelated with Vata imbalance. In order to bring the Vata Dosha into balance, soothing activities such as Pranayama or regular relaxed walks are important. Meditation helps you to leave everyday stress behind. Ayurvedic massage with soothing oils and Shirodhara can also help. Ayurvedic herbs also work wonders to get relief.
An indication of this type of tiredness is when you react to a lot of small things with irritation. To deal with emotional stress, Meditation and a diet that calms Pitta helps as well. More routine in everyday life can also have a wonderful effect on emotions. A focus on healthy, fresh foods and a conscious, slow lifestyle can help you balance out your emotional. Pranayama, Ayurvedic Detox and Herbs will help in Emotional fatigue.
A Kapha imbalance is best handled with a more conscious awareness of one’s body. Get moving and exercise regularly to make up for a lethargic and sedentary lifestyle. In addition, a diet that calms Kapha helps. Pranayama, Sun Salutation, Ayurvedic Therapies and Herbs are helpful to ease the Fatigue.
Ayurveda believes in removing the root cause of problems rather than just treating the symptoms. As a holistic health system comprising Customised (Diet, Pranayama, Yoga, Ayurvedic massage, Detoxification, Herbal remedies, Meditation and Daily lifestyle plan are beneficial to get relief in Fatigue. Ayurveda improves not only a person’s health, but also improves wellbeing, behaviour and state of mind.