Experiencing anxiety every once in a while is a normal part of life. Maybe you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming presentation at work, or you’re experiencing financial stress.
Research shows that your repetitive thoughts can become your reality. Similarly, Ayurveda teaches that anxiety is a result of dosha imbalances, specifically in your Vata energy.
When facing the unease, exhaustion, or limited focus linked to anxiety, Ayurveda offers us unique and holistic tools that we can integrate. These include traditional medicines, lifestyle changes, therapies, and more.
So if you find yourself feeling anxious on a regular basis – or if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder – you may benefit from trying some of these Ayurvedic tools.
Add Ayurvedic Therapies
Satwavachaya Chikitsa is essentially Ayurvedic psychotherapy. It focuses on the interconnectedness of our mental and physical health and offers effective strategies for mental health management.
Some pillars of this therapy are mantras and meditation which both help with stress reduction, emotional balance, and mindfulness. These strategies can also be useful for other conditions, including depression and an inability to articulate your thoughts or concentrate on tasks.
There are also other, more physical therapies that Ayurveda teaches. Snehana is one that is commonly associated with a specialized purification treatment. However, it can also be used to soothe the nervous system of an anxious person.
The process of Snehana includes applying ghee and other medicated oils to the body and/or ingesting small amounts of the lipids. This detoxification process proves effective in treating Vata imbalances, including anxiety and insomnia.
Similarly, swedana is an herbal steam therapy that can be consistently used to relax both the body and mind. Anxiety tends to cause muscle tension because of the related imbalances. This sweat-inducing therapy helps ease muscle aches and lessen both physical and emotional tension.
Change Your Diet
As we’ve talked about previously, Ayurveda places great emphasis on diet. In order to pacify Vata Dosha and calm an anxious nervous system, foods that are oily, warm, soft, salty, and easy to digest are recommended.
This can be paired with the Ayurvedic understanding that changing seasons can cause changes in mental health. You may need more warm and soft foods in the winter to remain balanced, while oily and salty foods may serve you better in the summer.
It’s important to figure out the ways that nutrition impacts your mental wellbeing at different times in the year. Nourishing foods like cooked grains, soups, and root vegetables are a great place to start when you’re working to rebalance your Vata Dosha.
Strengthen Your Routines
Anxious emotions include a concern for the unknown. If you’re able to establish a consistent daily routine, you can help provide your mind, body, and soul with a sense of security. These routines can include a wide variety of items:
- Regular schedule for waking up and falling asleep
- Daily yoga and meditation
- Regular walks and other physical activity
- Self-care rituals (including oil massage and oil pulling)
- Social interaction to prevent feeling isolated
No matter what you include in your daily routine, remember how important it is to remain hydrated. By regularly drinking warm water and herbal teas (especially tulsi hibiscus tea and lemon, ginger, and tulsi tea), you help aid your body’s digestion. This is one of the cornerstones of overall wellness in Ayurveda.
Managing Your Anxiety
Each of these Ayurvedic methods are pulled directly from centuries of wellbeing wisdom. Put together, they offer a holistic approach that can help harmonize the body, mind, and spirit of anxious people. By better understanding these tools, you can make choices that help you foster emotional resilience and improve your overall mental wellbeing.