Balancing Emotions

A friend recently asked if there are any Ayurvedic tips for moodiness. This is an interesting topic to explore from an Ayurvedic standpoint and there are several factors that go into this, but I will highlight two common reasons for amplified mood swings.

First, if this moodiness is something that has just recently come on during the summer months, it is likely due to ones pitta being out of balance. As the summer heat stirs up more internal heat, people are more likely to have a shorter patience, more irritability and anger. It’s as if the “hot head” qualities are coming out because we are literally being warmed by the summer heat. If this is the case, the way to calming irritability is through pacifying pitta.

To do this, focus on cooling the hot aspects of pitta as well as smoothing out the sharp parts. Choose tastes that will balance pitta such as sweet and bitter. Eat more cooling foods and spices such as cucumber, melons, berries, coconut, dark leafy greens,  cilantro, coriander, fennel, and cumin. If you can, avoid staying outside in the mid heat of the day. Run your errands, exercise and enjoy the sun in the cooler parts of day such as morning and later evening. Taking a mid-afternoon nap is another great remedy to relax the body and summer is one of the only months where this is recommended.

The second factor that could be causing moodiness is the state of mental balance in the mind. There are three mental qualities that we strive to balance in Ayurveda. They are rajas, tamas and sattva. Rajas is also coined as the mad-monkey mind. Tamas is often called the lazy log and Sattva is the serene sage. We strive to increase sattva while decreasing rajas and tamas. If a person is irritable they may have an increase of rajas causing them to spike up and down in their emotions, energy and mental state. They are likely busy, running around, on the go until they crash and burn into a tamasic state. To avoid this yo-yo effect of energy and emotions, Ayurveda strives to increase the sattvic state. By following some dietary patterns and lifestyle practices we can boost sattva to increase this state of peace and stability.

Eating a sattvic diet will help to increase sattva in the mind. The sattvic diet is a fairly simple one. Eating vegetarian, not going too spicy, moderating garlic and onion, and eating fresh, local and seasonally will help to promote sattva.  There are also two times of day, during sunrise and sunset, that are considered to be high sattvic times. To take advantage of these sattvic peaks, it is recommended to meditate, slow down to watch the transition of day, or do something which invokes peace and clarity during these times of day.

Try some of these balancing practices to see how it affects your emotional stability and overall mental state. For more in depth advice & herbal formulas, call or schedule a consultation online.

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