Ayurveda and Anxiety

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Ayurveda and Anxiety

A couple of weeks ago whilst hippy-ing it up on a meditation retreat I got the chance to have a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian form of medicine, going back over 5,000 years!

It involves making diet and lifestyle changes and taking various herbs.

Western medicine is great in so many ways, but traditional forms of medicine often use more natural techniques for preventing and treating health issues so I was keen to learn more about how Ayurveda could help with anxiety.

Ayurveda means ‘science of life‘ and it’s all about trying to find balance in our bodies and minds so that we feel healthy, calm and energised.

Sound good? Read on.

ayurveda anxiety

During my consultation the doc took a detailed health history from me and felt my pulse.

Ayurvedic doctors are highly skilled in ‘pulse reading’; it’s incredible what subtle things they can pick up, just from feeling a vein on your arm!

In Ayurveda there are three so called ‘doshas’; Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

If one of them is out of balance it can cause you problems; the trick is to keep them all in balance so that you feel ah-ma-zing and full of health.

If you’re anxious, chances are you have a Vata or Pitta imbalance rather than a Kapha imbalance. Those who are most ‘Kapha’ tend to me the chilled out ones!

ayurveda anxiety

Me? Apparently, I have a ‘Pitta’ imbalance with a tendency to over-work and be a bit intense! Hopefully making a few of the changes I describe below is going to balance that out!

Take a look at details below; can you figure out which ‘dosha’ you have out of balance?

Let us know in the comments and about one thing you can change to balance yourself out.

When Vata is out of balance

  • You feel the need to rush, do things quickly and over-think

  • You’re often restless, agitated and have trouble sleeping

  • You get tired and fatigued easily

  • You have trouble focusing and concentrating

How to balance Vata

  • Sit down to eat and eat slowly and mindfully

  • Have a good bedtime routine and try to go to bed before 10pm

  • Spend time in nature to ground yourself

  • Engage in calming exercise like walking, swimming and yoga.

  • Steer clear of caffeine if you can!

  • Eat warm food rather than cold food

  • Try to have you meals at regular times

Foods to Balance Vata

  • Sour foods like lemon and grapefruit are great

  • Try to avoid sugar because this can give you a sugar high then a crash

  • Sweeter foods like fruits, most grains, root vegetables, milk and fresh yogurt are good

When Pitta is out of Balance

  • You’re prone to being critical and demanding

  • You’re a perfectionist and can be quite intense

  • You can get irritable, angry and frustrated

  • You can be compulsive

How to Balance Pitta

  • Steer clear of smoking, alcohol and too much heat and sunlight

  • Avoid spicey food like chilli, ginger and pepper

  • Make sure you take regular breaks from work

  • Got to bed before 10pm

  • Get in to the habit of taking deep belly breaths and having more fun!

Foods to Balance Pitta

  • Choose cold foods over warm and hot food

  • Bitter foods like green leafy vegetables

  • Legumes like beans and lentils

When Kapha is out of balance

  • You tend to me lethargic and to do things slowly

  • Prone to overeating, sugar cravings and weight gain

  • Can be too ‘nice’ and get taken advantage of

How to Balance Kapha

  • Get up early and try to avoid napping in the day

  • Make time for exercise and getting out in nature

  • Find ways to challenge and push yourself

Foods to Balance Kapha

  • Choose warm and spicey food

  • Avoid sugar and sweet foods at all costs

  • Lots of green leafy vegetables and beans

So, which imbalance sounds most like you? Let us know in the comments. Plus, what diet and lifestyle things can you tweak to get back in balance?

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