It is very interesting how when life gets stressful, people react in a number of ways based on how they view that situation! And much of it comes from their individual unique mind body type! What???? It’s true we all are born with our own unique genetics or Prakruti (Ayurvedic mind-body constitution)
To know your ayurvedic mind body type, please do look up our self-paced online course “What’s your Dosha?”
Some people worry too much and get anxious easily! Others get angry and frustrated easily! And some just give up and enter into a state of hypo-activity or get depressed easily!
Your reaction may differ and that’s why it is important to step back and become in sync with your body, become more aware of how you deal with life’s stressors!
In this blog, I bring to you some of our ancient ayurvedic de-stress protocols…
Although stress is majorly a vata based disturbance, each ayurvedic mind body type handles it in its own way. For example,
When Vata dominant individuals are faced with stress, they become more anxious and overwhelmed! They worry about that particular stress all the time. They may start grinding their teeth! They won’t be able to sleep well and might develop insomnia. They will definitely become constipated. They might lose weight without even trying or changing anything in their diet and lifestyle. They may show up symptoms of ADD (attention deficit disorder) and may get distracted easily or become dis-oriented! These are all signs of Vata type stress disorder!
Now anyone, any mind-body type could experience vata type stress symptoms but vata dominant individuals are more prone to these symptoms and will develop vata type stress disorder easily!
Vata is the most important of the three Doshas. It governs the other two and is responsible for all physiological functions in general, as Vata controls the mind and the entire body through the nervous system. For this reason, disturbances in Vata have severe implications than disturbances of any other Dosha.
A pitta dominant individual may experience stress and come up with some very different symptoms. They may show more anger, frustration, aggression. They might get headaches, migraines, acid reflux, acidity issues, ulcers, skin rashes. They might be more prone to inflammatory conditions. Some might even develop diarrhea. They might start criticizing people and situations around them.
And for a kapha dominant individual stress might make them more sedentary, possessive or depressed. They are the ones who are more prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). They might start to overeat to give themselves some comfort. And the choice of foods would also be the ones that would lead them towards weight gain! They are more of an emotional eater as compared to any other body type. And the biggest hurdle is that they are the most resistant to change of any sort. Even if they know they need to make those changes in order to improve the stressful situation they are in, they could be too stubborn and overall resistant to change!
So, you see how the three Doshas experience stress in different ways. The way they react could be so different!
The point is, stress could lead to a lot of physical disturbances in the body. After all we are all creatures of mind! Our thoughts determine our destiny. Seriously! Here’s how it works: The thoughts we habitually think, shape our beliefs. Our beliefs influence our behaviors. And our behaviors determine our outcome or destiny.
Most of the diseases start at the level of your mind and how you perceive stressful situations in your life!
Stress has a direct impact on your digestive system. It weakens digestion and allows the food to go undigested, which allows it is get fermented and putrefied in your gut leading to toxin (AMA) formation. This AMA then further enters your circulation and has the potential of causing disease anywhere in your body. It usually attacks your weakest link! I will discuss more about the six stages of disease in my future blogs!
We all need to understand that stress is something inevitable. It is ultimately our response to stress that will decide how it’s going to affect us. You can allow yourself to be eaten up by stress or you could be someone who recognizes stress and how stress is effecting your mind and body and then taking action in rebalancing your body with the right diet and lifestyle as per your dosha!
Understand that our body is getting signals from all of our 5 senses about the dangers around us and it’s triggering a stress response that is the same for all of us. Stress triggers the HPA axis (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis) for all of us. But not everyone sees this stress in the same way. Some people see it as real danger and become anxious and overwhelmed and fail to deal with that stressor in the best possible way. Some people see it as a challenge or a learning opportunity and get ready with plans of how to deal with that stressor and others could go into a state of hypo-activity and just give up!
The point is whenever the HPA axis gets triggered, it releases adrenalin and cortisol into our blood circulation which then raises our blood pressure and blood glucose. Now if you do not deal with the stress quickly and bring yourself back into balance you are perpetually going to keep the levels of these hormones high in the blood. You know what you are doing to yourself in this case…. You are heading towards heart disease as well as blood sugar imbalances which could eventually lead you towards diabetes. High cortisol could also slow down your metabolism overtime and make you gain weight. It might also affect your immune system as well as your cognitive abilities!
Our society these days is inclined more towards a fast-paced culture which can easily disturb Vata dosha more than any other Dosha and lead us towards vata type stress disorders. You need to recognize this fast and try and bring yourself back into balance. In this case you need to work on an ayurvedic diet and lifestyle that is balancing for Vata dosha!
Here are some of my suggestions for Restoring Balance for the Vata Dosha: –
- Calm Your Mind by doing regular Meditation.
- Try to be Quiet for some time, as too much talking can further throw Vata out of balance!
- Rest is the most important therapy for bringing Vata back into balance.
- Develop Regular Habits. Follow a vata pacifying daily routine, which means wake up, eat, and go to sleep at similar times from one day to the next. Even the nature of your job must be predictable & not something new every day!
- Practice 5–15 minutes of “Nadi Shodhana pranayama” (Alternate Nostril Breathing) daily to relax the nervous system.
- Bring in warmth in everything you do. Food and lifestyle.
- Adopt a vata pacifying exercise routine: It should not be overly stimulating, but gentle and grounding instead. Favor activities like simple walks.
- Get good nourishment through good quality food cooked with love!
- Eat a vata pacifying diet centered around warm, moistening, grounding, calming & nourishing foods.
- Include generous amounts of high quality, organic Oils & Fats like ghee, sesame oil and olive oil.
- Have a warm cup of tea: Pour your hot tea in a cup and hold it in your hands while it is still warm. Notice how the warmth coming out of it feels, the comforting aroma and as you take one sip at a time, feel the calm it generates in your body. Enjoy your cup of tea sip by sip so you can appreciate every mouthful.
To learn all about how to balance your Doshas using an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, Check out OUR SELF-PACED ONLINE COURSES that include a perfect blend of Holistic Nutrition and our 5000-year-old ancient Ayurvedic wisdom!
- Basics of Ayurveda
- The Digestion Immunity Connection
- What’s your Dosha?
- The Basics of Healthy Eating
- Manage Back Pain with diet and lifestyle
M.Sc., R.H.N., Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant
The content provided in my blogs are for knowledge sharing purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.