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,