A lot of people turn to anti-depressants to curb and cure stress and anxiety, when the truth remains that stress is more of a psychologically influenced condition and hence can be better treated with will power. As the statistics for stress-related depression goes up, there has been constant search for alternative holistic treatment approaches. One such method is Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the native Indian system of medicine that inculcates herbal science to influence a person’s overall lifestyle and hence create a lasting change. There are three major areas that Ayurveda covers- herbal treatment, diet, and yogic breathing. Each of these three core areas has the power to relieve stress and reduce anxiety.
One of the precursors of stress is nutrition deficiency. However, not many would attribute a lack of vitamins and nutrients to be a cause for stress. Apart from diet, there are numerous herbal remedies that help to detoxify the body and are also a storehouse of nutrients.
The most common remedy is chamomile. Drinking chamomile tea, or even better if you can get the herb and add it manually to tea or drink it with warm water, you will definitely see a change in your overall physical and mental health. Another herb that helps with stress is Ginkgo Biloba, which increases the flow of blood to the brain and improves the functioning of the nervous system.
As mentioned, a lack of nutrition can add to your stress level. Ayurveda suggests getting a balanced diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits. The idea is to follow the course of nature, which includes not only not skipping of meals but also to eat at the designated time. If you are the one to miss out on lunch, Ayurveda says you might be prone to stress. Lunch time or the time between 2-6 pm is known as the ‘vata’ time and is associated with fat metabolism, and this is also the time when the nervous system demands a good supply of sugar.
In a nutshell try to get the basic three meals a day, and try to avoid midnight snacking. Also, make sure that you eat more of carbohydrate and sugar-rich food items for lunch, a good choice would be brown rice.
Apart from a balanced meal, try to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season. Since each season has a distinct effect on a person’s body and mind, having seasonal food will help to enhance that effects for the betterment of your health.
When you are stressed, you tend to take in short shallow breaths, which in turn stress you out more. Keep a check on your breathing patterns and practice breathing exercises like Pranayama, Kapalbhati, or adhere to the simple deep breathing technique. If you can make it a habit to do deep breathing exercises early in the morning and preferably in an open environment, your chances of relieving and staying away from stress increases manifold.
Remember, Ayurveda is not a quick-fix solution. You need to be persistent enough to see permanent results.
~ Mulyadi Kurnia