Manage stress with Ayurveda
Harnessing the power of Ayurveda to manage stress is one of the most promising modalities. As more people seek natural remedies to manage stress, Ayurveda draws upon ancient wisdom to bring harmony back into the body, mind, and spirit.
What is stress?
Stress, as a term, is highly subjective—it defies definition. Simply put, stress is not what happens to you but what happens within you. It’s a physiological reaction inside the body in response to some physical, emotional, or environmental stimulus.
We fall out of balance when we ignore our body’s natural rhythms. Modern-day normality, such as multitasking, consuming media, eating artificial foods and beyond, all draw us away from the natural world. The more we become disconnected from the natural world, the more likely stress will manifest in our bodies. This affects our mood, sleep, digestion, immunity, and beyond.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, everyone represents a microcosm of the larger world. And thus, the stress we feel internally is a representation of the external chaos and vice versa. Your environment has a significant effect on your mental peace.
What are the most common symptoms of stress?
Symptoms of stress range broadly from person to person and can vary in different situations and environments. Some of the most common symptoms of stress include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Panic attacks
- Sleep problems
To manage stress, Ayurveda aims to quiet the “modern world’s” implications on the body, mind, and spirit. The goal is to alleviate this vata energy. According to Ayurveda, vata is what drives disease in the long term. Pacifying and nurturing vata is a primary consideration for health and longevity.
Ayurvedic techniques to manage stress:
It’s the most simple thing that you can do everyday. Earthing is all about connecting our body to earth, it encourages us to plant our roots back into mother nature through natural movement.
Simply walk barefoot on a beach, grass, soil, spend time near a stream of water that’s flowing, get exposed to early sunlight, or swim in the ocean. Earthing reconnects to the five elements on earth, it neutralizes our electric potential. Earthing can hugely relax the body, reduce stress, and reconnect you to the healing power of nature. Take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot on the raw earth!
Pranayama / Breathwork:
Ayurveda and yoga are interconnected. Pranayama is a yogic concept that means breath control. Breathwork is a potent tool that is free and can be used anywhere. We can recalibrate our systems through different breathing techniques and shift our body from a sympathetic state of fight-or-flight to a calm parasympathetic state.
Technique to try:
- Inhale for a count of 4.
- Hold at the top for a count of 2
- Exhale for a count of 6.
Repeat this for as long as you would like, we recommend a minimum of 5 minutes. Tip: you may try and open your mouth for an audible sign as you exhale, this helps welcome deeper release and relaxation. Read more about optimal breathing here.
Physical touch and massage:
Physical contact, massage, and self-massage can help lower cortisol levels significantly over time. One specific type of massage that Ayurveda highlights is Abhyanga. Abhyanga is an incredibly healing practice that you can do to yourself. Simply use a body oil that is dosha specific, and massage yourself, starting at the head and working toward the toes. Let the oil sink into your tissue, and then take a shower or bath to wash off the oils. Create a weekly ritual of taking 30 minutes to give some love back to your body!
In an over stimulated world, meditation is a respite from the chaos that so often controls our lives. Meditation is about stillness and inner reflection, not blocking out feelings and emotions, but being aware of them and learning to observe them without judgment. Try this Chakra Meditation to alleviate stress.
Detox and Retreat:
For those seeking a supported stress relief programme, we recommend fully immersing yourself in a retreat at the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is structured to support your system in returning to balance and harmony; regulating your biological rhythms, metabolism, hormonal balance, mood and contributing to wellbeing and longevity. Further, we offer juice cleansing, water-fasting, and intermittent fasting programmes to support your body in releasing stress. You can read more about our retreats here.
Stress can be a topic that is variable for everyone. It is essential to honour the way you are feeling and take actionable steps that work for you. An array of Ayurvedic techniques have been used for lineages to manage stress for you to explore. We encourage you to try some of the methods above. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can support you on your journey.
Sen Wellness Team