Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed daily? Do you wish there was a way to get rid of all your stress? For most of us the answer to both questions is “yes!”. Yet, everyone faces stress no matter if you’re a student or a professional. Stress will always be in our lives, but it’s how we deal with it that matters. We would love to say there’s a magic pill that never lets stress affect you, but sadly magic pills or short cuts don’t work. Stress is a natural response of your body to external and internal factors. However, stress can begin to affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Ayurveda offers a way to deal and change your relationship with stress.
What is Stress?
Stress is a disorder that is one of the main the causes of many diseases and disorders. The cause of stress can be anything from getting road-rage, homework, unemployment, pollution, to acne. The point here is that the causes of stress can be virtually anything if you let it become aggravated. Stress acts as a trigger for other physical and emotional disorders and diseases. Asthma, high cholesterol, herpes, heart conditions, anger, headaches (etc.) can all be symptoms of stress. Stress can aggravate your microbiome, which leads to getting sick and having a low immunity. This is why it is important to recognize when stress is affecting your life.
Stress and the Doshas
Generally, vata individuals are likely to develop stress symptoms such as, anxiety, fearfulness, timidness, phobias, and neurosis if left untreated. Pitta individuals in stressful situations typically act out in the form of anger, peptic ulcers, hypertension, and other pitta-aggravated disorders.
Kapha individuals under stress can develop a slow metabolism, underactive thyroids, increased blood sugar. A tendency for Kapha individuals is to eat to deal with the stress. This is related to emotional eating.
Ayurvedic Tips for Dealing with Stress
Analyze the Stress
One main thing to understand stress is analyzing aspects of your life into things you can change and not change. Often stress can lead to feeling immobilized, but part of stress can be reduced or changed if you can make actions against it. If there are things that cause you stress that can change, look at how to take steps to transform them and realize you have power in your life. An example would be a job that gives you anxiety. If you can leave the job, seek other options that might benefit your talents more. Remember the caterpillar can only turn into a butterfly when it liquifies itself and has time to develop alone in its cocoon.
For things in your life that you can’t change, try transforming your relationship with them. Surrender and accept the situation. Perhaps you can find peace in releasing the power that these situations can hold. Sometimes you can make changes, but you need to surrender in order to change the stress. In example of this is having a certain condition like eczema. Eczema can be changed by diet, lifestyle, and herbs through an Ayurvedic format but a large cause of eczema os emotional stress. By focusing on releasing the stress as a first step you can begin to heal (contact us if you deal with eczema for more details).
When you are feeling anxiety and stress take a moment to analyze what the trigger was and if there is a deeper reason that is causing the stress. Often times stress and anxiety are symptoms of issues we have yet to deal with in our lives. If this sparks something in you, then take a moment to reflect on what those issues may be.
Take Time for Yourself
The first way to prevent stress is to take a moment of time in stress-inducing situations to stay calm. Taking deep breaths can help release the buildup of stress. If you are a Pitta individual this can be particularly helpful when dealing with anger. You can also try counting when getting triggered to calm down and try to not act out of reaction.
Take time to relax with a self-care practice, massage, yoga, and meditation are all helpful activities that help bring the body and mind to a calmer level.
Look at Your Life If your job gives you high amounts of stress and you rarely feel satisfied from it, take a moment to reflect if it is the right job for you. If you love what you’re doing, stress should not be permeating your job. Try journaling a list of “I am…” Examples of these are: “I am a father”, “I am determined”, and “I am a leader”. This can help you see some of your personality traits and roles. Try also journaling what your goals are in this lifetime from professional to emotional. Both of these journal entries can help you discover if your job is best suited to your personality traits.
Things to Incorporate
Regular daily routine
Use less social media/ technology
Letting yourself cry
Make a tea with Chamomile, comfrey, and angelica.
As well as brahmi tea. Brahmi tea can be made by adding 1 cup of boiling water to ½ tsp brahmi. Brahmi is a nervine tonic. It helps to calm the nerves.
Another tea can be made with equal parts, brahmi, bhringaraj, katamamsi, shanka pushpi. These are all incredible nerve tonics and can help reduce stress and anxiety. Steep ½ tsp in 1 cup of boiled water for 10 minutes. 2×3 times a day.
Many Blessings, Santa Cruz Ayurveda