Updated: Dec 14, 2021
We all know that stress is bad for us and causes a hormonal cascade that lowers our immunity and creates long term susceptibility to chronic illness. But then what?
Ayurveda offers deep insights into the nature of stress and what we can do about it. Through our ayurvedic lens we can see ourselves more clearly and understand why we maybe feeling and responding in the ways that we do.
An understanding of your dosha mind-body type can clarify what your stress triggers are, and how to bring yourself back to a more balanced state through diet and lifestyle suggestions.
Managing Stress with Ayurveda
Vata types are dominated by air & ether. They are quick thinking, enthusiastic, creative, and bursting with ideas. They are naturally more susceptible to stress.
The primary stress response is anxiety, worry and fear. The air element can easily become ungrounded, losing touch with reality. This can lead to sensitivity around changes in life which can make you feel anxious or panicked. This typically results in leaning into lots of worse-case scenarios, or doom impeding ‘what-ifs.’
Bring Vata into Balance:
that space & air needs to be contained, comforted & grounded. Connect with the earth & water element, ground in nature.
Create routine; Eating at regular times helps feeling calm and grounded
Find a weighted blanket, take warm baths, oil massage, breathe deeply, eat healthy fats & nourishing warm foods.
REST. Finally, going to bed at the same time can also help things on an even keel, preferably around 10pm.
Pitta types are determined, competitive and articulate. This dosha is dominated by the fire element, and when put under unexpected pressure may become too hot.
The primary response stress response is frustration, irritability & anger. The lack of control that stress brings up can be triggering, and bring out that feisty temper. Be careful not to lean into the challenge of stress because it may lead you to burn out.
Bring Pitta into Balance:
That fire needs to be cooled and softened. What is it that makes you let go?
Take time to play, lighten the load off of yourself and chill out.
In times of stress, it's best to avoid reaching for spicy, salty and sour foods, they will just fuel the fire.
Avoiding stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine will also help keep cool and calm.
Kapha is dominated by the Earth & Water elements, creating very string,stable and grounded individuals. They are the most resistant to getting stressed out by the many stress triggers in modern life. However, in the face of stressful situations, they can be very resistant to change.
The primary stress response for kapha is withdrawal, defeat, depression & lack of energy. It is not uncommon for this energy to suppress their emotions or turn to comfort in food,especially sweet foods, which leads to a feeling of heaviness and a lack of motivation.
Bring Kapha into Balance:
The heaviness of Earth & water are keeping you stuck. To balance, incorporate stimulating activities. Fire up your yoga practice or do more invigorating exercise.
Try not to hibernate in the face of a stressful situation or bury your emotions.
Avoid heavy food & comfort eating, instead sip on a spiced tea(cinnamon)
Get out in the fresh air. Just get it moving!
Whatever you dosha, we all need to take time out to consciously relax. Self-care is a practice, and therefore something that we can actively 'practice'.
Create safe spaces and time for yourself so that you can observe your stress responses & triggers. From there, you can then choose between reacting to a stress trigger or instead responding using some of the magical and intuitive guidance from