Simple Ways To Help Manage Anxiety
The modern world is stressful. Lucky for us – the teachings of Ayurveda provides for simple and practical ways of developing inner calmness and an overall sense of well-being. In fact, the time-honored focus of Ayurveda is to create this very inner calmness and sense of well-being.
The Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
Anxiety is a subjective feeling characterized as an unpleasant state often associated with fear and nervous behaviors. From an Ayurvedic perspective, much of these symptoms [of anxiety] originate from vata aggravation. We can think of “vata” as being that movement which directs and drives all activities of the body and mind. If this movement, within the mind specifically, becomes imbalanced it can manifest and express itself as anxiety. Ayurveda gives focus to diet, lifestyle, spices, routine, stress reduction [i.e. yoga & mediation] and herbs as playing a fruitful role in creating that inner calm which we naturally seek.
Reduce Anxiety – Balance Vata
The wisdom of Ayurveda provides time-tested methods centered around balancing this vata aggravation. Ayurveda gives focus on diet, lifestyle, herbal remedies, yoga, meditation, and pranayama to help ease anxiety and bring about overall balance to the body and mind.
Dr. Henry Emmons Describes How Ayurveda Can Help With Anxiety + Depression
Since anxiety is primarily a vata disturbance much of our dietary considerations are centered around a “vata pacifying diet”. This suggest having meals which are grounding and generally warm, soft, and easy to digest.
Consider the following:
– foods that are naturally sweet and salty in taste
– warming spices such as ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin
– warming herbal teas such as “CCF tea” [cumin, coriander, fennel]
– more high-quality oils [i.e. ghee; clarified butter] to your diet
– warm milk spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg to help promote sound sleep
There may be nothing more nurturing and supportive to both the body and mind than an oil massage. According to the teachings of Ayurveda – oil massage [“abhyanga”] is considered one of the fundamental components of balancing the body; primarily balancing “vata”. Interestingly, the Sanskrit word “sneha” can be interpreted as ‘oil’ and ‘love’. This implies the great value of massaging the body with oil so much that it is looked upon as saturating oneself with love. Therefore, to help pacify vata aggravation [i.e. anxiety] we should consider abhyanga [i.e. ayurvedic self massage] as a way to help balance both the body and mind.
Based upon the ancient teachings of Ayurveda – anxiety primarily arises due to increased ‘light‘ and ‘mobile‘ qualities within the nervous system.
The light quality of vata can also create feelings of light-headedness, insomnia, and feelings of ungroundedness which are also commonly associated with anxiety. Therefore, herbs with stabilizing qualities which help to balance vata include:
Similarly, the mobile quality of vata can also create feelings of uncertainty and therefore we would want to consider more stable and balancing herbs to help pacify vata. Such herbs include:
– again, ashwagandha
– mahayogaraja guggulu
Yoga is a wonderful practice to help draw one’s attention inward. Often with anxiety there is scattering of mental energy which can result in overwhelming feelings and unpleasant sensations. Yoga helps to center oneself simply by bringing attention to where it belongs, upon the stillness of the breath. Once one feels more centered and balanced it is then more likely for the resultant physiological changes to reflect this state of overall well-being.
Meditation is a valuable tool for managing stress and helping to reduce anxiety in daily life. With regular practice, meditation often brings about the sense of peace and calmness allowing one to meet life’s daily challenges in a more balanced way.
Calming Almond Saffron Milk Recipe
Almond milk is calming and considered to be helpful in reducing anxiety naturally.
– soak 25 raw almonds in water [overnight]
– peel the skin off the almonds
– soak saffron strands in a teaspoon of milk and set aside
– blend almonds in 1/4 cup of milk to create a [“blended almond mixture”]
– heat additional milk and add to the “blended almond mixture”
– heat to a boil then reduce the heat
– keep heating and stirring for around 15-20 minutes; until milk thickens
– turn off the heat and then add sugar and saffron while mixing
– finally add peeled and crushed cardamom along with rose water
This is strictly for educational purpose only. Not medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new changes to your health regimen. Also – always consider professional consultation when considering any herbal protocol.