Stress Management in Ayurveda: Natural Coping Strategies for Stress
Stress Management in Ayurveda: Natural Coping Strategies for Stress Destress & Rejuvenate
Stress Management in Ayurveda: Natural Coping Strategies for Stress
JULY 26, 2022

Stress Management with Ayurveda

 dealing with stress and anxiety

Let’s take a walk down memory lane - what’s the most stressful situation you have ever been in?

When you had many meetings at work, along with strong client feedback reaching you on the same day?

Or when you have already made a friend waiting for you for 45 minutes and are still stuck in traffic, 10 kilometers away from them?

Or when everything in your life went south, and your car was towed away at midnight?

Of course, these situations can push you down mentally or even make you feel extreme anger or frustration, but these can be overcome. However, when such small botherations keep cropping up again and again, it may lead to lasting stress.

Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to mental stress and other mental health concerns. In this blog, we discuss Ayurvedic stress management strategies.

What is Stress? - Causes and Effects!

Going by the definition, stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. While it may start easily, when aggravated, it can lead to various mental health concerns.

Usually, stress crops up because of situations that may make you frustrated, worried, or angry. Simply put, stress is our body’s reaction to difficult situations and challenges. While it’s advisable to avoid stressful situations, short bursts of stress can help us focus better and meet deadlines in mild crises.

To understand stress better, let us look at its primary causes and how it can affect our lives:

Causes of Stress:

  • Overwhelming mental pressure
  • Major challenges in life
  • Being in worrisome situations
  • Situations or their outcomes being out of our control
  • Overwhelming responsibilities
  • Monotonous life
  • Lack of work, hobbies, or interests to keep you involved
  • Experiencing discrimination or hate or abuse
  • Traumatic experiences

Effects of Stress:

Stress can have many ill-effects on your body. Here are some of the common symptoms to look out for:

  • Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Facing challenges falling asleep
  • Dizziness, headaches, shivers, jitters
  • Abnormal blood pressure levels
  • Jaw clenching
  • Muscle aches
  • Digestive health concerns
  • Lower libido
  • Immunity decreases
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme sadness
  • Panic attacks

Some of the unhealthy approaches that people may take for dealing with stress are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Drug consumption
  • Overeating
  • Not looking after their health
  • Oversleeping
  • Aggressive involvement in sex, shopping, or other activities that make them overspend

Types of Stress

Depending on the cause and effects, stress can be of various types. This section talks about different ‌stress:

Acute Stress

Acute stress is the body’s natural reaction to a fresh problem or challenge. It happens to everyone. You, too, might have noticed how when you face a new tricky challenge, you may feel the need for a quick break to take a long breath and think with sanity.

Whether you are being chased by an attacker or have just escaped an accident, your heartbeat may rise, and you may feel acute stress.

However, acute stress is not something that you would ‌keep thinking about. After the dangerous scenario, you may recall it and enjoy the thrilling memory.

In most cases, acute stress isn’t harmful to you. It may even give you a sense of achievement or a much-needed adrenaline rush. Mildly stressful situations triggering acute stress may also help you prepare for more stressful situations that may crop up in the future.

However, a near-death experience or other extreme experiences causing acute stress may also give rise to PTSD.

Episode Acute Stress

This occurs after frequently repeated episodes of acute stress. This primarily happens when you are often anxious or worried about things that may occur.

Because of this stress, you may start finding your life chaotic. You may also feel‌ you constantly jump from one challenge to another.

This also depends on the profession. For example, lawyers, doctors, firefighters, and police officers may often deal with acute episodic stress when facing challenging situations.

In extreme cases of episodic acute stress, your physical health may also go down.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress occurs when an individual has been dealing with a lot of stress for a long period‌. From unhealthy relationships to the passing away of a loved one, a range of reasons can lead to chronic stress.

Chronic stress may lead to anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, depression, high blood pressure, low immune strength, extreme tiredness, and physical health concerns such as digestive problems, sleep disorders, etc.

Ayurveda for Stress and Anxiety

According to Ayurveda, the stress levels in our body are governed by three energies or the doshas‌ Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The amount of positive and negative stress in an individual’s body largely depends on these three energy levels (doshas).

Ayurveda suggests that most individuals have bi-doshic constitution (Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata-Kapha) in their bodies. These doshas can influence their overall mental well-being. Let’s ‌look at these doshas and how they can influence our mental health:

  • Vata dosha: This dosha enables our quick thinking capabilities, unlocks our creativity and innovation, and can optimize our intuitive power. People with a dominant Vata dosha may come across life situations that can make them anxious. When dosha levels go up, one may have to deal with fear, anxiety, insomnia, isolation, etc.
  • Pitta dosha: Pitta dosha helps us with determination, intelligence, competitiveness, and confidence. When these dosha levels go up, individuals may feel more angry, irritated, frustrated, or incompetent. In addition, sweating, heartburn, diarrhea, and hypertension can spike Pitta dosha levels.
  • Kapha dosha: Kapha energy is associated with strength, steadiness, and reliability. People with a dominating Kapha may often resist change and be stubborn in usually uncomfortable situations. This may lead to high-stress levels. For people with a dominant Kapha dosha, stress may result from comfort eating, lack of motivation, tiredness, lethargy, etc.

Ayurvedic Supplements for Stress Management

Ayurvedic medicine has a wide range of remedies and ingredients that are said to help manage stress. Here’s a list of some Ayurvedic supplements most effective for dealing with stress and anxiety.

Ksheerabala Thailam (Oil)
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  • Brahmi pearls: Brahmi Pearls contain pure Brahmi herb, which can help improve memory, and mental clarity. Good cognitive health supports healthy sleep and can aid in rejuvenation from stress & fatigue.

  • Ksheerabala thailam: Ksheerabala thailam is an Ayurvedic oil that can be used for stress-relieving foot massages. It is said to have properties that can bring Vata dosha to its optimum levels, also promoting deep and restful sleep.

    Adding Ksheerabala thailam foot massage to your bedtime routine can help the body relax and relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Manasamithra Vatakam: Manasamithra vatakam gulika is said to be the mind’s best friend. This medicine can help you find relief and calm your mind when dealing with agitation or being bothered by various thoughts.

Yoga for Stress and Anxiety Relief

 yoga for stress and anxiety relief

Regular practice of yoga can encourage mental and physical relaxation. This may help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Physical aspects of yoga can help increase flexibility, release physical stress from several points in the body, and ease down blockages such as muscle knots, eventually relieving tension.

You can practice the following yoga postures for relief from stress and anxiety:

  • Virasana (Hero pose)
  • Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing forward bend)
  • (Child’s pose)
  • Uttana Shishosana (Extended puppy pose)
  • Matsyasana (Fish pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
  • Janu Sirsasana (Head to forward knee bend)
  • Leg up the wall pose
  • Baddha Konasana (Reclining bound angle pose)

Apart from these yoga postures, you can also try practicing a various series of yoga postures, such as Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

Additional Tip: Stress Management at Workplace

Recent studies have reported that since the COVID outbreak, 55% of Indian working professionals have been unusually stressed. Another study reports that Indian professionals face higher levels of workplace stress than most people globally.

Workplace stress is a rising concern in the Indian subcontinent. So here are a bunch of valuable tips for stress management in the workplace:

Meditate

Regular meditation practice can help attain a profoundly restful state and a tranquil mind. It is a process in which you pay attention to your thoughts, observe them, accept them, make peace with them, and move to the following thoughts.

As a result, your anxieties and concerns regarding a problem may sit down and be relaxed.

To ease the stress from your life, regular meditation practice coupled with yoga can be helpful.

Take a Breather

Morning hours are usually the busiest hours for working professionals. From giving up your sleep to getting ready and battling traffic to reach the office on time, tons of botherations are circling you right before the start of your day at work. To work efficiently, it’s crucial to have a peaceful state of mind.

Even if you have worked through traffic or had to have breakfast that you don’t like, before you start work, take a few long deep breaths, drink a glass of water, and relax your mind.

Learn about Mindfulness

Mindfulness may not seem the most straightforward goal to achieve, but it may start working out well when approached with a simple mindset.

The idea is to bring your mind back to the present moment at all times.

Of course, we aren’t seeking 100% mindfulness throughout the day, but trying to be aware of our thoughts and bring our mind back to the present moment when we find it juggling between past and future.

You can start this small. Just try to notice when your mind is running away. Then, upon observation, try to bring it to the present moment. As you stick to this practice, observation of thoughts and presence in the present moment will become easier.

Got some questions unanswered in the above sections? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about stress management in Ayurveda:

Conclusion

Stress can be challenging to face and overcome. Ayurveda offers a wide range of suitable practices and remedies that may help ease stress and relax the mind in the long run. In this blog, we discussed Ayurveda and stress management‌. Hopefully, you found this helpful.

Key Takeaways

Let’s ‌look at what we learned in this blog:

  • Stress can be caused by a variety of factors such as mental pressure, challenges in life, inconvenient situations, the demise of a loved one, traumatic experiences, etc.
  • Stress can have various ill-effects on your health. It can affect your digestive, sleep, skin, and hair health and raise heart-related health concerns.
  • There are three types of stress: acute stress, Episode acute stress, and chronic stress
  • Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to manage stress. According to Ayurveda, stress is governed by the three energies, a.k.a doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).
  • Ksheerabala thailam and Manasamithra vatakam can help manage stress.
  • Yoga poses such as hero pose, tree pose, leg up the wall pose, and Sun salutation can help relieve stress.
  • Meditation and mindfulness practice can help cope with workplace stress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ayurvedic medicines for stress and anxiety include natural herbs. This makes them safe for consumption; thus, they are not addictive or habit-forming. However, one must buy these medicines only from a reputable and certified store such as Kerala Ayurveda.

To find out the exact dosage and the period for which you have to consume a certain Ayurvedic medicine for mind relaxation, it’s advisable to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner. Then, they'll prescribe the right dosage based on your overall health and mental health

While going through a stressful situation, our body secretes hormones that may spike up blood pressure. However, if your BP keeps spiking in such situations, this may affect your blood vessels. If diagnosed with such a concern, it’s crucial to take strict measures to manage BP and mental stress.

Being under severe stress for prolonged periods can lead to anxiety and trigger panic attacks. If stress affects your mental health for days, it’d be wise to consult a professional Ayurvedic practitioner. Ayurvedic treatment for stress can be of expert help while overcoming stress and anxiety.

Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to managing stress and anxiety. Kerala Ayurveda’s stress management remedies involve herbal supplements and suitable oils, professional massages, a sattvic diet, daily practice of yoga and meditation, and certain breathing exercises to calm the mind.




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