12 Ayurveda Tools for Improving Mental Health
Mental health problems are very common nowadays. However, not many people know how to treat mental illnesses by Ayurveda. Learn it today.
I have already written one article about Ayurveda and the 12 practices to use every day to stay healthy: Self-Healing: Practise 7 Plus 3 Habits to Make Every Day
Why Ayurveda Is So Effective?
• You Are Encouraged to Love Yourself. – link – self-love
• You Get a Greater Understanding of Your Place in Life. – link – spiritual life
• Toxins in the Body are Reduced. Link – live longer
• You Learn to Clear Up Energy. – negative energy tag
• Better Health at a Cellular Level.
• Stronger Digestion.
• Reduced Stress and Greater Sense of Well-Being. – link – how to reduce stress
Ayurveda is a treasure trove of knowledge about the healthy and harmonious functioning of the body and mind. It brings concrete solutions to many health, mental and emotional problems, including anxiety.
More about Ayurveda and physical self-healing – the article continues below:
Doshas and Mental Illnesses
The masters of Ayurveda state that our constitution is composed of three Doshas and their imbalances cause diseases. Each of us has usually got one or two domineering doshas. Any imbalance causes physical illnesses and the same applies to mental disorders. For example, Vata imbalance typically causes anxiety and phobias, Pitta, anger, and obsessions, and Kapha could cause depression. More about doshas here
Likewise, we all go through phases of feeling uplifted, restless, or lethargic when seasons change every year. These are attributes of the mind (Gunas). According to Ayurveda, Sattva is the natural state of the mind that we try to attain for optimal mental health. It is productive, light, and balanced.
There are two more mental states according to Ayurveda: Rajas and Tamas. The first means being too ambitious and restless and the second lethargy and restlessness. Even though we need Rajas and Tamas to work or rest, their imbalance can cause anger or depression.
One word of caution here: mental health imbalances are also caused by many other reasons, e.g., by genetic and external factors, a misuse of our senses, the effect of time, or knowingly doing something that harms the health like overeating or engaging in a violent argument. Raising Prana (vital life force) and awareness through practices like meditation helps us to make better lifestyle choices.
How to Improve Your Mental Health by Ayurveda
Now let’s use the twelve useful tools for overcoming mental health problems. Most of them are just new habits that you need to develop and master. Even if you apply only one of them, your condition will improve dramatically, and you may even have your medication dosage reduced or totally withdrawn.
1. Apply the Diet in Accordance with Your Domineering Dosha(s)
Each product, after digestion and absorption, leaves unwanted metabolic by-product(s) called ama. These toxic to our body substances cause the same mental health problems:
Vata – nervousness and anxiety
Pitta – irritability
Kapha – low ambition and depression.
However, the problems generated by a given kind of ama are the result of both one’s psychophysiological type (vata, pitta, or Kapha), and the type of food one is eating. Foods digested with difficulty by a given psychophysiological type will generate more toxic ama. For example, meat is not recommended for Kapha.
Food called Sattvik is recommended to each dosha. It is natural, fresh, not overly spiced, easy to digest, light food with plenty of fruits and vegetables preferably unprocessed (e.g., whole grain or lentils). On the other hand, processed, junk food, white sugar, and white flour should be avoided.
2. Apply Ayurveda Herbs
Quantum field scientists reckon that our thoughts and emotions are wave functions, like the wave functions of light. Waves are a vibratory phenomenon. Moreover, these scientists claim that vibrations also work at the quantum level, which includes the level of our thoughts and emotions.
What has it in common with mental health? Each ingested plant is known to have a specific frequency, or wave pattern and resonates with specific parts of the body that have a similar wave frequency. Here are some examples of herbs useful for treating mental health illnesses:
- Ashwagandha - helps with stress management more effectively. In addition, it may also improve sleep and memory.
- Brahmi - lowers inflammation, improves brain function, and reduces symptoms of ADHD and stress.
- Turmeric and its main component Curcumin, can improve brain health which is important in the case of depression or bipolar disorder. However, you need to use large quantities of this spice to notice visible effects.
- Gotu kola boosts memory, plus it reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
A Word of Caution
Ayurvedic herbs and spices are generally safe in small amounts. However, never use supplements containing large doses of these herbs and spices.
3. Meet a Maharishi Ayurveda Practitioner
Maharishi Ayurveda recognizes that mental health depends on the quality of your close relationships. Conflicts in intimate relationships generate stress hence the right communication skills are necessary. – link to article about communication
But you also need to start being comfortable with yourself because only then your joy overflows like water from a full glass and it’s natural to want to give to our loved ones.
According to the movement's Global Good News website, there are 23 Maharishi Vedic Health Centres in 15 countries.
In several European countries, such as Italy, the UK, and Germany, doctors can now study Ayurvedic medicine within the framework of postgraduate medical education recognized by medical councils and universities.
4. Practise Breathwork and Yoga
Yoga and breathwork are recommended by Harvard Medical. These practices help people with Covid-19 anxiety and depression.
Further reading on yoga and breathwork – the article continues below:
5. Practise Transcendental meditation
There are many types of meditation. Ayurveda recommends transcendent meditation, during which the mind effortlessly settles to the state of pure silence, or pure consciousness. Because of the intimate connection between mind and body, when the mind transcends the field of activity, the body becomes very relaxed.
Modern research demonstrates that during this deep level of rest the metabolic rate drops to levels much deeper than is typically seen during sleep. It is this profound level of rest to both the mind and body that enables deep rooted stress and fatigue to be released, in a most effortless and spontaneous manner.
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Learn more about meditation
6. Improve Your Daily Routine
The importance of a healthy daily routine for optimal mental health cannot be overemphasized. It’s well established in the medical literature that not getting enough sleep can increase depression and anxiety and impair cognition and mental focus. According to Ayurveda, getting to sleep by 10 pm is ideal, as that’s the time when kapha dominates and a person is most likely to be naturally sleepy. That’s when melatonin levels are highest for most people.
like Blissful Sleep can be helpful to promote improved sleep. In terms of the timing of meals, eating three times a day with the largest meal at noon (when agni or the digestive fire is strongest), with supper being light and not too late, is ideal.
People with disturbed internal wind energy (psychophysical type according to this system, you can read more about it here) are prone to experiencing fears, so they should lead a regular lifestyle that will allow you to maintain energy balance – try to get up at the same time every day, eat regularly, also exercise and meditate at fixed times.
Exercise, according to Ayurveda, is considered vital to mental health. It increases serotonin and endorphins, neurotransmitters that are well known to improve mood. In addition, exercise reduces chemicals in the bloodstream that cause inflammation throughout the body, including in the brain. Inflammation is being discovered to be one of the potential causes of a variety of mental illnesses. However, learn what kind of dosha you are first:
Vata - mild to moderate exercise, such as walking or light jogging. Overexercising induces anxiety.
Pitta - moderate amount of exercise. Swimming reduces irritability.
Kapha - comfortable with greater degree of aerobic exercise. Too light workout makes them phlegmatic and depressed.
In addition, practicing hatha yoga postures can help the brain to produce hormones that are beneficial to mental health. Along with yoga, breathing exercises, called pranayama, are helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. Here are the most popular yoga poses for improving mental health:
Vipareetakaraniasana - improves blood circulation towards the head. It also helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia.
Shavasana, typically performed at the end of yoga routines boosts mental health and relaxes the body. Hasta Utthanasana - This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool.
Shashankasana or child's pose - stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body.
8. Practise Self-Massage
Daily self-massage by using oil and maintains the energy-emotional balance calms down for the whole day and restores. They are critically important for people prone to anxiety. More about massage - link to article about ayurveda on my blog
Use herbs and spice mentioned above in today’s article ( i.e. Ashwagandha or Brahmi . Add most of these spices to any dish you prepare, as well as make teas from their mixtures: Indian chai tea.
9. Do Body Purification (Panchakarma)
It is called “Panchakarma” and these procedures have been shown to be very beneficial to mental and emotional functioning. The following techniques are used:
• oil massage (Abhyanga),
• Shirodhara (oil poured over the forehead),
• basti (herbalized enemas).
The combination of these and other purification therapies work to systematically remove toxins from the cellular level of the body.
Applying these detoxification procedures improve mood and mental clarity. It is recommended to purify body for 3-5 days once or twice per year. Apart from massage, healthy eating is important.
Read more about body cleansing - the article continues below:
10 Breathe and Get Rid of Stress and Worries
Pranayama or breath yoga or offer many breathing techniques to, harmonize, cleanse, and energize both the body and the mind. Take a comfortable position, close your eyes, and watch your breathing. Breathe this way without trying to control or change it. Just watch the next inhalation and exhalation. Already five minutes of such breathing will bring a lot of relaxation
Learn how to let go of stress - the article continues below:
11. Fill the Air with Aromatherapy
Some fragrances have a very relaxing and calming effect on the body. The aromas of incense, basil, orange, lavender, cloves are excellent for relieving fears. You can also buy ready-made mixtures of essential oils helpful in stress and add them to baths, aromatic fireplaces or use them with massages.
12. Listen to Music That Will Soothe Your Nerves
It is proved that classical music has a very positive effect on stress, general well-being and even creativity. For example, I like listening to Mozart while working. When you add breathing exercises to listening to the music, the effects of this practice will be greater. 432 Hz, 528 Hz and Solfeggio music is also good.
Learn more about healing music - the article continues below:
- Powerful 432 Hz Aura Cleansing Music
- Discover the Miracle of 528 Hz
- Meet The Miracle of Solfeggio Frequencies
- How to Use Music For Balancing Chakras
12+1 Practise Journaling and Affirmations
Writing can be very therapeutic, and you engage your subconscious mind to release negative emotions which induce stress. You can write sentences but also draw – and use both hands for that purpose. Combine writing with breathing exercises and listening to the music.
Read more about journaling and affirmations:
In a Nutshell
Remember that although the described methods are very effective in many kinds of mental illness, nothing can replace your inner work with the pain-body, thoughts and release of anxiety. So, support yourself with them, but do not stop focusing on what is most important. Good luck with improving your mental health. With lots of love and light,
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