Is stress is playing a bigger role in your fast-paced life than you would like it to? If your answer is YES, then you have to get rid of this. While the quality of life seems to have improved, the accompanying stress and anxiety are gradually increasing over the course of several workdays. Nowadays everyone talks about Stress Management but do you know what is stress?
Stress is purely a universal element of modern human lives. However, some stress is productive, even appropriate but we know that taking too much of stress can badly affect us, mentally, physically as well as emotionally.
This is where Ayurveda helps as it provides an amazing perspective on stress management. Having said that, we will have a look at the detailed guide on stress management and Ayurveda for stress. We will also be exploring the prime consequences of excessive stress and anxiety and stress relief techniques.
Stress In The Modern Age
Let us imagine a scenario. You have a meeting today in your office with the CEO and the MD of the company. There is stress and tension in your mind while you are having your breakfast or driving towards your office. You are anxious about how the presentation will be. Seems familiar. Isn’t it?
Imagine one more scenario. At the end of this month, there are lots of EMI instalments that you have to pay. You have lots of office works to do for meeting your deadline or else you would be fired from the office. You also have to take some time for your family. Isn’t it an easy recipe of anxiety?
Every one of us faces such similar situations in our day to day life. Life in the 21st century is fast and the most challenging part is we have to deal with it to stay ahead in the race. With technological advancement, our life has become easier but at the same time, our mindset has become incredibly complex. Stress has mixed with our blood in such a way that it gives rise to many health-related issues such as panic attacks, anxiety attacks, depression and various other stress-related syndromes.
According to Ayurveda, both mental as well as physical stress is one of the main reasons for social, health, family, economic and relationship related problems. We will be discussing everything about Ayurveda for stress and stress management in Ayurveda. But let us first understand what stress is.
What is Stress?
If we talk about it scientifically then stress is specifically anything that comprises a real threat to a human being. Stress is basically a biological response to a body to a threat, either imagined or real in the form of a hormonal or chemical rush all throughout the human body.
Most of us think that stress is a bad thing but it is wrong. This is because there is some sort of natural stress present in our body which helps our body in avoiding minor or major accidents and get all our work done. Temporary stress is good but when the symptoms get severe and prolonged then its time to think about the stress management.
Do you know what’s the worst part? Stress is the most common symptoms in almost every Indian. As per research, every 8 out of 10 Indians suffer from stress and anxiety.
Types of Stress
Now in developing better stress management and stress relief skills, we have to understand different types of stress.
Acute Stress is the most severe type of stress which needs the immediate reaction of our body to a new challenge or event. However, it is not always negative. As most of us experienced it when we were having a roller coaster ride, etc. Acute Stress can also cause various mental health-related problems such as acute stress disorder or post-traumatic disorder.
Episodic Acute Stress
If a person is suffering from the frequent occurrence of acute stress, then this is termed as episodic stress. The people who are short-tempered, irritable and anxious are known to be the victim of Episodic Acute Stress. The victim of this stress type often gets tensed in almost every small issue. Negative health ailments tend to occur in patients with episodic acute stress. The victims accept stress as part of their daily life and it becomes almost impossible for them to change their lifestyle.
If acute stress continues until a longer period of time, it turns to chronic stress. This type of stress remains constant and doesn’t get cured easily. It mainly happens from financial issues, relationship problems, toxic family relation or a bad job. Chronic stress is harmful to health which leads to various diseases like depression or cardiac ailments.
Physical Stress tends to occur from trauma due to infection, injury, surgery, environmental pollution, rigorous physical labour, insufficient oxygen supply, hormonal imbalance, fatigue, substance abuse and many other problems.
Psychological Stress is all about emotional stress that happens due to frustration, fear, sadness, grief, anger as well as cognitive stress that occurs from attachment, jealousy, panic attacks, anxiety or self-criticism. So basically it is emotional as well as physiological reactions that are experienced when a person comes across a situation.
The next type of stress is Psychosocial Stress which arises due to some sort of personal problems such as relationship or marriage issues. It could also be a relationship between a family or siblings, employer-employee. Not only this but also lack of social support, unemployment, loss of beloved and isolation can lead to this stress.
Causes and Effects of Stress
Now as you have come to know what the stress is all about and what are the different types of stress, you must be curious to know what are the causes and effects of stress.
Well, any sort of thing which arises the feelings of stress is termed as a stressor. These people generally face lots of stressors. Now continue reading to know how stress affects us physically and mentally and how we can control it.
You body’s response to stress
When a person faces stress, different hormonal imbalance in our body occurs which trigger lots of changes in our body. Following are some problems which we may face:
- Our blood pressure level may rise.
- Cardiac problems arise.
- Various problems in our digestive system.
- Muscles will tighten up.
- We cannot focus on our work.
- Tend to forget many things.
What are Stressors?
Stressors are all about:
- Taking tension about financial problems.
- Facing certain challenges such as joining a new job and moving to a new place.
- To adapt to a rapid change.
- Confused about managing multiple roles and responsibilities like job role, life partner, taking care of parents and maintaining a healthy relationship between friends and co-workers.
- Once you struggled a challenging situation, you have to shift to the next one without even taking time for relaxation.
- Being addicted to technology like using too much of mobile phones and computers.
The Long Term Effects Of Stress
If you are facing stress for a long time, you have to learn how to manage it. This is because stress can badly affect your physical as well as mental wellbeing. Following are some of the symptoms of stress:
- Physical: Frequent headaches, cold and flu, muscle tension, insomnia, digestive issues, skin problems
- Mental: Lack of concentration, frequent occurrence of negative thoughts, forgetfulness, learning issues and speech problems
- Emotional: Depression, anxiety, feeling helpless, anger, relationship problems, irritability
- Behavioural: Addicted to drugs or alcohol, eating too much or too less, aggression, reckless driving
Ayurveda On Stress Management
As modern science differentiates positive stress as an adrenaline rush while negative stress as harmful, Ayurveda for stress has a completely different perspective. Ayurveda considers stress as Sahas. It can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. As you have seen stress can be caused due to several causes that we have mentioned above. This can weaken the immunity system, which is also known as Ojakhsaya rendering it susceptible to disease.
According to Ayurveda for stress, stress and anxiety are related to three prime energies, also known as doshas that are present in our body namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The negative stress which occurs in our body and mind due to the proper balance of three doshas. So to maintain positive stress and good health, it is mandatory to fine-tune these doshas for the perfect balance. Do you know all of us has one such dominant doshas in us which showcase our personality?
Take a look at this…
The three doshas are the key to understand the trigger behind the stress that you are facing and apply the proper stress management skills for fighting against them. Now let us have a look at these energies in a detailed way:
Vata: This dosha is all about creativity, quick thinking, intuition and innovation. If Vata becomes your dominant dosha, then you may face lifestyle change that would lead to making you feel panicked or anxious. The dominance of Vata increases within you, it would cause anxiety, fear, isolation, insomnia, etc.
Pitta: This dosha is all about being intelligent, confident, determined and competitive. If this is your dominant dosha, it will manifest itself through anger, frustration and irritability. The symptoms of the person can be heartburn, sweating, hypertension and diarrhoea.
Kapha: This dosha can be described as reliable, steady, strong and rooted. If this is the dominant dosha in you, you will likely to be resistant to change, stubborn in uncomfortable situations and less flexible which would lead to stress. The symptoms of triggers in Kapha are demotivation, comfort eating and tiredness.
Ayurveda for stress management
Ayurveda gives special emphasis to peace when it comes to stress management. It doesn’t differentiate the body and mind as two different parts but both are interdependent on each other. This is because the physical strength that we get solely depend on strong mental health. Hence, the key to proper stress management in terms of Ayurveda lies in providing proper treatment to our nervous system.
These days we prefer to go to clinical psychologists for treating stress, depression and anxiety but do you know certain Ayurvedic techniques are proven to be the ultimate stress busters. These techniques help us to answer specific questions like how we can get rid of depression and how to deal with anxiety and stress. Ayurveda aims to find the root cause of the solutions instead of fixing the symptoms.
If we talk in terms of Ayurveda then the best way to go for effective stress management is to avoid it and focus on strengthening the adaptive power of our body to deal with it. Now the best way to do that is to first understand the dominant dosha of yours, also known as stressors. Another option is to improve the body’s capability to adapt the lifestyle changes, natural remedies, proper diet and drug treatments.
Ayurvedic herbs you can use for managing stress
Needless to say, Brahmi is widely used to reduce the stress level. The herb helps in decreasing the cortisol level, which is the stress hormone. Brahmi helps in preventing the negative impacts of stress and this can be done by regulating hormones that are involved with the stress response. It also improves the concentration power, nourishes the brain cells which can soothe the nervous system.
Bhringaraj flushes out the impure substances from our body and energises the brain by supplying the efficient amount of oxygen and increasing the blood circulation level. Daily intake of bhringaraj will keep the mind and body relaxed.
Jatamasi is known to be one of the best anti-fatigue and anti-stress herbs. Its roots are mainly used in the form of ayurvedic medicines which will leave a therapeutic effect on our mind. The roots of Jatamasi will make our mind and body feel free from blockages and toxins which in turn offers stability to our thinking process.
Ashwagandha is rich in vitamins and amino acids which let our body to adapt itself from various stressful situations. Not only this but it also enhances the stamina, endurance and energy power from within. Ashwagandha if consumed daily will promote healthy sleep pattern and further helps in treating insomnia.
The roots of Vacha will provide ultimate relaxation from certain mental disorders. It is a calming agent which helps promote restorative sleep and calm our mind. It is popularly used as a natural memory-booster.
Natural Remedies To Cure Stress and Anxiety
There are many ayurvedic and yogic techniques which you can adopt to get rid of stress, depression and anxiety. Ayurveda for stress can be a broad term but in this article, we have tried to simplify all the steps for you so that you can easily adapt to the stress management approach through Ayurveda.
Following are some of the useful stress management tips which will immensely help you to cope with stress and provide instant relief:
Most of us suffer from stress due to modern and hectic lives. So the need of the hour is to slow down the entire process and lead a balanced way of living. Yes, it will be difficult in the beginning but you can make it possible simply by taking small steps in your daily lifestyle. You will notice that over a period of time you will be able to successfully adopt a slower lifestyle. Try to be more conscious with your daily activity and maintain a daily routine which can help slow things down for you.
Stress can also occur due to irregular sleeping patterns. These days we try to socialize more and often we miss out on our sleep which increases the chance of being stressed. Taking at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day will recharge your mind and body. If you don’t take a sufficient amount of sleep then it can severely impact your mind. Most people suffer from insomnia and if you are one who is facing the same issue then you need to practice some stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, a hot shower just before sleep, etc.
Ayurvedic Oil Massage
This is also known as Abyanga which basically an ancient practice of self-massage with oil. This massage will help to calm down your nervous system and further rejuvenates the tissues and promotes healthy blood flow throughout the body.
You have to follow this step every morning before taking a shower. All you need to do is take a 1/4th cup of organic oil and massage into the skin. The oil will act as a protective sheath around your body and keep your body alert and help you protect from tension, stress and anxiety.
Nasya is an ancient Ayurvedic technique to apply medicated oil to the nasal passages. Daily practice of Nasya will soothe the delicate tissues help to get rid of stress and supports mental clarity. However, pregnant and menstruating women should not perform this step. All you need to do is take 3 to 4 drops of Nasya Oil in each Nostril and try to inhale.
Exercise is one of the best stress management techniques which everyone needs to follow. Daily practice of exercise will put a balanced physical pressure that will help you to get relief from stress. Following are some of the important benefits of exercise:
- Improves our quality of sleep.
- Reduces the stress hormones.
- Promotes our overall wellbeing and gives us confidence.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to provide mental harmony. It immensely helps in restoring inner peace. Regular practice of meditation will help a person in developing a capacity to gain passive awareness and help a person to give a positive response even in stressful situations.
When a person completely focuses his mind during meditation, it helps to keep him away from all sort of disturbing thoughts which cause stress and ultimately offer physical and emotional wellbeing.
When it comes to Ayurveda for stress management, yoga is one of the most popular natural remedies to cure stress. Yoga is a broad term which is nothing but a form of worship that involves physical postures, pranayama breathing and relaxation techniques. All these steps help to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Regular practice of yoga can help you to stay calm and maintain a balanced life.
A well balanced diet
The things that we include in our daily diet can provide both positive and negative impacts on our physical and mental health. If we have an excessive amount of sugar or caffeine it can cause stress and anxiety. That’s the reason that we need to have a balanced diet which has an equal proportion of vitamins, proteins, mineral and calcium. We would advise you to have whole foods. If you don’t have enough time to cook your meals then you can simply have grounding foods. Read this article to know about a balanced diet.
The Bottom Line
So this was all about Ayurveda for stress management. When it comes to stress management then Ayurveda is known to be the most holistic approach and individualized system of medicine.
It’s all about listening to your body and work on that accordingly as per the steps mentioned above. You don’t have to work fast instead a simple approach will work more effectively. Stay positive and spend more time with positive-minded people. This will give a positive reflection on your overall attitude to life.