Stress Management in Ayurveda
Ayurveda offers a beautiful perspective on stress management.
In ayurvedic terms, Stress, is intimately related to the balance of our three vital energies or doshas-Vata,Pitta and Kapha. To a great extent, our daily habits determine how harmoniously these doshas function.
Modern life is full of frustrations, deadlines, and demands.
Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviours, thinking ability, and physical health. Stress isn’t always bad, though. Stress within your comfort zone can help you perform under pressure, motivate you to do your best, but when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health, mood, relationships, and quality of life.
Consequences of Excess Stress:
When we are suffering excess stress, many systems in the body can be negatively affected: the digestive system and metabolic function ,cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the immune system.
The nervous system controls the rapid body changes, while the endocrine system regulates the longer-term patterns of stress response by releasing hormones into the blood. The adrenal activates the sympathetic nervous system, reducing the normalizing effects of body function. This increases the metabolic rate, heart rate, circulation and blood pressure. In addition, effectiveness of the digestive system is diminished and disturbances in sleep patterns become common.
Stress that is expressed or experienced negatively can be linked to many physical complaints, from headaches and hypertension to symptoms affecting a person's mental state. Anxiety, depression and feelings of anger, fear, and other emotions are often linked to stress.
Mental, physical, emotional and environmental stress can be neutralized through the holistic practices of ayurveda.
It all depends on how much you are able to implement the suggestions for maintaining balance. It’s best to start today, rather than reading about it and thinking, “that’s a good idea
Ayurvedic Stress Management is aimed at relieving the stress accumulated over the years in 2 ways:
Panchakarma therapies help to expel the toxins and other poisonous substances out of the body, improve the blood circulation in various parts and there by pulling out the negative energy out of the body and mind which causes stress.
Shirodhara is a luxuriant and easy way to achieve instant calm and rejuvenation.
The term Shirodhara is derived from the two Sanskrit words: shiro, meaning head, and dhara, meaning to flow. It involves the warm and consistent flow of aromatic oils on the forehead, specifically on the “third eye.” This treatment involves methodical pouring of warm herbal oil /medicated buttermilk/herbal decoctionss,over the forehead in the form of a gentle stream. This continuous stream is profoundly relaxing and calming to the mind, body and spirit.
It has been traditionally shown to help with fatigue, mental exhaustion, depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, headache.
This ancient practice of self-massage with oil calms the nervous system, lubricates and rejuvenates the tissues, and promotes healthy circulation throughout the body.
Ayurveda recommends using cold pressed organic lukewarm sesame oil for daily abhyanga.
This soothing head and neck massage helps Insomnia,headache,premature greying of hair,dandruff,relaxes mind,profoundly soothing and relaxing.
Pada in Sanskrit means foot and Abhyanga means massage.
This soothing and calming massage, leaves you completely rejuvenated and revitalized. It is recommended as a daily ritual that one needs to do before going to bed.
This practice grounds the energy, improves circulation,improves vision,relives anxiety and fatigue,soothes the nervous system, reduces stress, quiets the mind, and promotes sound sleep.
Sesame oil can be used for the foot massage.Depending on the medical conditions medicated oils and ghee are also recommended.
The key is to maintain an ayurvedic routine, going to bed well before 10:00 p.m. and rising before sunrise , practice deep breathing exercise in the morning, and meditation.
Ayurveda recommends a number of subtle therapies like pranayama, yoga and meditation as an effective means of breaking this cycle, resetting the nervous system, and cultivating a healthier physiological response to stress.
Sleep is an important antidote to excess stress. It has considerable restorative functions and plays a critical role in the repair and rejuvenation of tissues (both in the brain and throughout the body), but it also allows for the more efficient removal of metabolic wastes and natural toxins.
There is a very strong connection between sleep deprivation and stress.
Eat meals that are high in fresh, natural ingredients. It's amazing what a big difference your choice of food can make in helping you cope with stress.
The diet needs to be a wholesome source of nourishment and grounding. it is probably best to focus on emphasizing healthy, whole foods, and minimizing processed foods, stimulants, and refined sugars.
If you don’t have a lot of time to cook your own meals, soups, stews, root vegetables, and other simple, grounding foods are usually good choices.
Proper exercise helps to release accumulated tension, move stagnant mental and emotional energy, and improve circulation.
It also kindles agni (the metabolic fire, which is essential to optimal health), improves digestion, improves the body’s detoxification mechanisms, and encourages proper elimination, relaxation, and sound sleep—all of which help to counter the effects of excess stress.