The importance of balance
Life is by nature uncertain. The only certainty is that everything changes. The secret of good health and happiness, according to Ayurveda, is to maintain balance amidst the change. Because everyone is unique, balance is an individual thing. The beauty of Ayurveda is that it helps everyone to find his or her own unique balance.
We all need stress or challenge, otherwise life would become boring. Moderate stress allows us to perform efficiently, to achieve our goals and to grow. However, there comes a point where stress levels can become so high that we become strained.
At this stage some people (especially if they have a Pitta body-type) may still feel the need to keep total control during such highly stressed situation. hey even believe they are superhuman and can handle anything. But this is also the stage where fatigue starts to set in and, no matter how invincible they may feel they are, there comes a point when their performance begins to fail and they quickly enter the area of stress, hyper-excitability and even disease.
Do you have anxious Doshas?
Different natures respond to stress in different ways. Those with more heat in their system, and who therefore have a Pitta nature, get angry and aggressive when they are stressed. Those with a more earthy, Kapha nature can tend to get despondent and depressed.
Some people have more Vata in their physiology. They naturally have a predominance of the Air and Space elements. When those with a Vata body-type are rushed, strained, tired, travelling a lot, skipping or rushing meals and stressed, this causes a further increase in Vata and very quickly anxiety rises up in them. If anxiety is allowed to grow it can lead to insomnia and panic.
Four secrets to handle anxiety:
- The first secret is to remove the factors that are causing the increase of Vata.
- The second secret is to introduce factors that will calm down this hyperactive Vata dosha.
- The third secret is to consider safe gently strategies like Transcendental Meditation and Yoga or the use of Herbal preparations.
- The fourth is to go for more intense treatments like Panchakarma therapy.
Transcendental Meditation and anxiety
It is said that 90% of what happens to you is outside your control and 10% is how you react to what happens to you. This 10% is within your control.
The beauty of Transcendental Meditation is that it allows you to achieve a natural state of inner stillness and calm. By regularly practicing Transcendental Meditation, for 20 minutes twice a day, the serenity that you gain during the practice lingers with you after meditation. As time passes, the way your physiology reacts to stress improves. You become more relaxed within, even while surrounded by the changes and challenges that life brings. This wonderful technique is the most natural antidote to anxiety.
Sleep and anxiety
Anxiety can disturb sleep and disturbed sleep in return tends to increase anxiety. So it is worth considering how to ensure better sleep.
- Early to bed is a wise old proverb. We tend to get an initial deeper dive into sleep when we go to bed early and this helps us to sleep well through the rest of the night.
- Start the practice of Transcendental Meditation as this has been show to help with sleep. So does the regular practice of yoga.
- Taking a good rest break at meal times helps prevent you becoming too highly strung from the non-stop rush of the day.
- The Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparation called Blissful Sleep helps you get the deep rest at night, so essential for eliminating and preventing stress.
- A Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre treatments called ‘One Day Wonder’ includes a whole body massage and Shirodhara treatment. Shirodhara is a continuous flow of oil over the forehead and head, which deeply relaxes and supports good quality sleep.
Eating and anxiety
Stress and anxiety create an excess of free radicals which cause your body to under-perform and to become ill. Eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetable, which are lightly cooked and nicely spiced, along with good grains, provides natural free radical scavengers. These assist your body in containing and even eliminating these damaging free radicals.
Maharishi Amrit Kalash, available from Maharishi Ayurveda Products is very high in Vitamin C, which is also known to be a free radical scavenger.
Furthermore, the pure relaxation and joy of eating replenishes your tired body. So sit and enjoy meals at regular times.
Taking adequate fluids is also helpful. One drink worth having in a flask by your side is Raja’s Cup. This is a delicious and satisfying Ayurvedic coffee substitute that contains tonic herbs. Raja’s cup also has a relaxing effect and balances Pitta Dosha.
Exercise your anxieties away
Moderate exercise is a great way to de-stress. Yoga, which is an integral part of Ayurveda, is an excellent way to exercise all parts of the body. It also soothes the nerves and balances the mind. Research suggests that the happiest and healthiest people are those who exercise regularly.
Massage your anxieties away
Vata dosha is the elements of movement in our body and the dosha that is most likely to be out of balance when you feel anxious. One of the best strategies for balancing Vata is a whole body sesame oil massage. It is recommended that this massage is done daily and is followed by a shower or bath. It is surprising just how relaxing this can be. Even better is to use Vata Massage Oil, which has herbs that are relaxing and that further reduce Vata.
It’s natural to feel anxiety
Anxiety could be seen as a natural and even a sensible reaction to an ever-changing and therefore uncertain world. If we did not have a built-in anxiety mechanism, we would not be ready and alert enough if disaster occurred.
However, we live at a time and in a society that is so busy and so overactive that many of us sufferer from low-level anxiety a lot of the time. Many suffer bouts of high anxiety, even when there is no obvious cause. Such on-going elevated levels of anxiety weakens the immune system and can lead to disease.
The solution can sometimes be simple – slow down and moderate both the pace and content of your life.
Ayurveda is a great help as it remind us of all those simple things we should have need doing all along. And those simple things can make a huge difference for the better.
But sometimes the state of anxiety can be so ingrained that such simple solutions don’t work.
Ayurveda also offers very specific physical and herbal treatment, which can help where simple behavioral methods fail.
Treatments that will help
Certified teachers in UK TM WEBSITE
Further information from Dr Brennan
Audio lecture: Yoga, Mental Health and Happiness