How Much Stress Is Too Much Stress? The Ayurvedic Perspective

Health & FitnessMedicine

  • Author Dr. Deepika Kaushal
  • Published March 31, 2024
  • Word count 796

Ever felt like your mind is on override, with thoughts that just won’t quit? You are not alone in this struggle. 9 out of 10 people are dealing with stress, and most of my clients grapple with challenges stemming from stress. So, let’s talk about the ever-present elephant in the room-STRESS. Stress isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a tangible challenge that weaves through our minds, impacting both our physical and mental well-being. Are you curious about the antidote to stress that goes beyond surface solutions? Look no further than Ayurveda, a 5000-year- old ancient system of medicine from India. Offering not just remedies but a comprehensive approach, Ayurveda empowers us with time-tested treatments and strategies that focus on the root cause. In this article, let’s talk about how stress affects your health and how to find the calm in the chaos of stress through Ayurveda.

Mental Health Effects of Stress:

• Vata imbalance –This can manifest as restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and an overactive mind.

• Pitta imbalance – Intense and chronic stress may lead to an increase in Pitta dosha. This can result in mental health effects such as irritability, anger, frustration, and an overall decrease in emotional resilience.

• Kapha imbalance – Chronic stress may lead to depletion of Kapha dosha, resulting in mental fatigue, lethargy, lack of motivation and a sense of emotional heaviness.

Impact of stress on the Digestive System:

• The gut-brain axis, a communication network between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Stress can significantly impact the gut-brain axis,

disrupting the delicate balance between the two and contributing to a range of gastrointestinal and mental health issues.

• Stress can influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome and lead to various conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), inflammation in the lining of the gut amongst others.

• Gastrointestinal symptoms and the accumulation of toxins (ama) resulting from poor digestion resulting from chronic stress can obstruct the channels in the body and in turn have a psychological impact and can lead to anxiety, depression, foggy mind, reduced mental clarity, further influencing the gut-brain axis.

Impact of stress on Vitality/Immunity (Ojas):

• Stress can deplete Ojas, the subtle essence that represents vitality, immunity, and overall well-being in Ayurveda.

• Reduced Ojas can make the body more susceptible to infections and compromise the immune system.

Impact of stress on Sleep:

• In Ayurveda, sleep is considered a vital pillar of health. Stress is known to particularly aggravate the Vata dosha, which governs movement, communication, and the nervous system.

• An imbalance in Vata due to stress can lead to restlessness, racing thoughts, overactive mind, making it challenging to fall asleep.

Ayurvedic Stress Relief Strategies:

• Balancing the doshas: Understanding your predominant dosha is key to creating a personalized stress management plan. This may involve dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and the use of specific herbs and treatments to pacify aggravated doshas.

• Dietary adjustments: Balancing the doshas through dietary choices is fundamental in Ayurveda. For example, Vata-pacifying foods may include warm, nourishing meals, Pitta-balancing foods focus on cooling and soothing options, while Kapha- pacifying foods involve light, easily digestible options.

• Mind-body practices: Regular practice of yoga postures and controlled breathing techniques (pranayama) can help calm the mind and balance the doshas. Ayurvedic meditation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation or mantra meditation, can be powerful tools for reducing stress. Regular meditation practices help quiet the mind and promote a sense of inner calm.

• Herbal support: Ayurveda employs adaptogenic herbs that help the body adapt to stressors. Popular adaptogens include Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Tulsi. These herbs are known for their ability to balance the nervous system. Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend specific herbal formulations based on your doshic imbalances.

• Self-Massage (Abhyanga): Abhyanga involves massage with warm herbal oils which helps balance Vata dosha and promotes relaxation and reduces stress.

• Daily Routines (Dinacharya): Ayurveda places great importance on daily routines to create stability. Having a consistent daily schedule, including regular meal times, sleep and self-care practices help balance the doshas and reduce stress.

• Detoxification (Panchakarma): Traditional Ayurvedic detoxification therapies known as panchakarma, can be beneficial for releasing accumulated toxins (ama) and promoting balance.

In conclusion, Ayurveda recognizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body, and offers a comprehensive approach to stress management, aiming to address both the root causes, and the symptoms associated with stress-related imbalances. For a tailored approach to alleviate stress, seek guidance from an Ayurvedic practitioner who can craft a personalized plan based on your unique constitution (doshas) and needs. Through personalized lifestyle and dietary interventions, along with mind-body practices, you can navigate stress in a way that promotes harmony and vitality in both the physical and mental realms. Integrating Ayurvedic principles into daily life can contribute to a more balanced and resilient approach to stress-free productivity.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor, Dr. Deepika is a motivated and young medicine professional with extensive experience in herbal medicine and acupuncture therapy. Dr. Deepika’s expertise is to diagnose chronic and complicated illnesses, and follow tailored and holistic treatment plans.



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