Have you noticed a mental health hangover from the pandemic with people around you quietly worried about what the future will bring, feeling anxious, alone or isolated? Even though easing of restrictions has allowed us to reconnect with the people and things we love, the pace of change is challenging, especially with the current conflict in Eastern Europe.
A mental health hangover occurs when the demands posed by the environment become too taxing or you feel forced to go beyond your limits or capacity to cope. Then a sense of healthy challenge can give way to unhealthy distress.
How you respond and what you can do to ease your way through is greatly aided by understanding your unique mind-body profile or inherent qualities (doshas). Then you can play to your strengths and consciously protect yourself by drawing upon the qualities of the doshas within you – Vata, Pitta and Kapha to help restore or maintain mind-body balance.
First, let’s see what Dosha(s) are strongest in you and then in Step 2, we will identify 3 powerful actions you can take to bolster mental health and wellbeing.
Which group of characteristics below (Vata, Pitta or Kapha characteristics) do you identify with most currently?
- Have a light, thinner build
- Performs activity quickly
- Tend towards dry skin
- Often dislike cold weather
- Have Irregular hunger and digestion
- Are quick to grasp new information, and also quick to forget
- Imbalance can give rise to
- Roughness of skin
- Weight loss
- Dark complexion
- Light and interrupted sleep
- Decreased strength
It is very Vata to
- be hungry at any time of the day or night
- love excitement and constant change
- be sensitive to cold, dry, windy weather
- go to sleep at different times of the night
- skip meals and keep irregular habits in general
- digest food well one day and poorly the next
- tend towards exhaustion from overworking or over-exercising
- display bursts of emotion that are short lived and quickly forgotten
- spend money quickly and find it hard to save
- be highly social, and like to mix with all types of people
If 10 is high Vata characteristics and 1 is low Vata characteristics, where would you score your Vata characteristics currently?
Next assess your Pitta characteristics…
- Have a moderate build
- Perform activity with medium speed
- Have an aversion to hot weather
- Experience sharp hunger and digestion
- Display a medium time to grasp new information with medium memory
- Can’t skip meals
- Tendency toward irritability and anger especially when stressed
- Are enterprising and sharp in character
- Prefer cold food and drink
- Have a tendency toward reddish complexion and hair, moles and freckles
- Are often good speakers
- Imbalance can give rise to
- Yellowish complexion
- Excessive body heat
- Insufficient sleep
- Skin diseases
- Peptic ulcer
It is very Pitta to
- Be enterprising and like challenges
- Be direct to the point and decisive
- When under stress to feel irritable, impatient, resentful and easily angered
- Feel ravenously hungry if dinner or meals are late
- Live by your watch and resent having time wasted
- Wake up at night feeling hot and thirsty, needing few blankets
- Become uncomfortable and easily fatigued in hot weather
- Enjoy challenging sporting activities
- Learn from experience that others can find you too demanding, sarcastic or critical
- Take control of a situation, or feel that you should
- Feel compelled towards your goals and at times suffer burn-out.
- Save money and also be a big spender
If 10 is high Pitta characteristics and 1 is low Pitta characteristics, where would you score your Pitta characteristics currently?
Lastly, assess your Kapha characteristics…
- Have a solid heavier build
- Display greater strength and endurance
- Are slow, methodical in activity
- Have an oily, smooth skin
- Have slow digestion and mild hunger – missing a meal is no issue
- Display a Tranquil, steady personality
- Are slow to grasp new information and slow to forget
- Are slow to become excited or irritated
- Sleep is heavy and long
- Hair is plentiful, tends to be darker in colour
- Imbalance can give rise to
- Pale complexion
- Excessive sleep
- Excessive weight gain
- Looseness of Joints
It is very Kapha to
- Be happy with the status quo and preserve it
- Wake up slowly and need a coffee to get going in the morning
- Find change and letting go difficult.
- Mull things over for a long time before making a decision
- Dislike cold, damp climates and stagnant air
- Move slowly with a tendency to being less active
- Tend to accumulate mucous, particularly in the morning
- Save money and accumulate wealth easily
- Seek emotional comfort from eating
- Enjoy preparing food
- Have a tendency to develop diabetes
- Gain weight easily and tendency to be obese
If 10 is high Kapha characteristics and 1 is low Kapha characteristics where would you score your Kapha characteristics currently?
Which of the doshas did you score highest in? If you scored two doshas with equal points then select the dosha with the stronger symptoms of imbalance. Then take action to help bolster and strengthen your mental health and overall wellbeing by balancing this dosha within you.
Vata Imbalance – How to restore Mental Wellbeing
Vata dosha is dominant in the lighter qualities of air and space and responds well to actions that help to bring stability, regularity and warmth while helping to reduce the impact of stress. Here are three actions you can adopt to help restore your resilience:
- Favour Vata soothing food and drink:
- Favour Vata soothing foods in your everyday food choices.
- Sip Soothing Vata Tea every 30 minutes throughout the day.
- Supplement your food with Peace of Mind herbal – take 2 tablets 30 minutes before breakfast and evening meals. Also, take Digest Plus 1-2 tablets 15-30 minutes after breakfast and evening meals.
- Peace of Mind tablets support the mind’s natural ability to function in a calm, focused and decisive fashion thereby reducing the impact of stress and building resilience naturally. Digest Medium
- Digest Medium helps to balance your appetite and aids good digestion as it kindles Agni – your digestive fire. This helps to reduce gas, balance stomach acid and supports liver and pancreatic function while also detoxifying impurities from partial or incomplete digestion. It is particularly helpful after a heavy meal.
- Be very regular with your daily activities. Adopt regular meal times, be in bed by 10 pm, rise with the sun and exercise daily at a moderate pace for 30 minutes or more. Consider bringing in Transcendental Meditation to help build resilience.
Pitta Imbalance – How to restore Mental Wellbeing
Pitta dosha is dominant in the qualities of fire and a little water which responds well to actions that help to balance the internal fires, with moderation a guide in one’s choices. Here are three actions to take to cool and soothe the fire of Pitta as you build resilience:
- Favour Pitta cooling food and drink:
- Adopt moderation as your guide. Be moderate with your intake of food and drink and never skip a meal. Be moderate with your work and life balance and be moderate with expectations of yourself and others. Take time to walk near water or in nature and enjoy the cooling effect of a walk at night under the moonlight!
Kapha Imbalance – How to restore Mental Wellbeing
Kapha dosha is dominant in the qualities of earth and water which responds well to actions that stimulate, bringing warmth and lightness. Here are three actions to take to build your energy and vitality naturally:
- Favour Kapha balancing food and drink:
- Favour Kapha stimulating foods in your everyday food choices.
- Sip a tea made from 2 litres of water and 1-2 tsp of ginger root that has been boiled for 10-20 minutes, then strained and placed in a thermos flask. Sip warm every 30 minutes from early morning to 8pm.
2. Supplement your food with Organic Triphala Guggulu (MA7970): Take 2-4 tablets 3 times a day 10-15 minutes after meals with warm water. Triphala is combined with the fragrant resin of the Indian myrrh (Guggul) and Pippali, producing Triphala Guggulu. Triphala guggulu gives the all-important toning of the digestive system produced by Triphala together with the cleansing, strengthening, warming and rejuvenative effects of guggul and pippali. It is particularly balancing for Kapha dosha.
3. Adopt stimulation as your guide and exercise daily for 30 minutes or more. Kapha needs to be warmed up with regular daily exercise! Use spices such as ginger, turmeric, black pepper and warming spices in your meals. Balance your natural desire for a familiar routine with some change to spice up your life!
As you adopt the suggested changes for your dosha take it easy, one step at a time. Think about the story of the hare and the tortoise. Look for the small changes to encourage yourself to continue and congratulate yourself for caring and taking action. Remember every day is a new day and a chance to begin over.
Wishing you the bliss of mental and physical wellbeing that naturally arises when living in tune with your nature.