Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that has two parts – Ayush (life) and Veda (Science or knowledge) and together they mean Knowledge concerning the maintenance of Life. The emphasis is not only on a disease-free state but on traditions and techniques to maintain life in a positive healthy state of body and the mind.
In Ayurveda, the mind is referred to as MANA which is super sensual that controls all sense organs and its fundamental functions include thinking, consideration, deliberation, attention, speculation, concentration, determination, self-control, Compassion etc.
Rajas and Tamas are the two Doshas of the Mana as they are susceptible to vitiation leading to imbalance. And this imbalance manifests in the form of anger, greed, lust, confusion, fear, malice, worry, hatred, anxiety, negative thoughts etc.
Ayurveda emphasises a psychosomatic approach to deal with any imbalance and is experiencing a renaissance. Whatever happens in the mind correlates with the body and has a physical representation and the reverse is true as well. As such they are together dealt with medication, lifestyle changes, diet control, spiritual knowledge, fortitude and positive thoughts.
In Ayurveda there are 3 main causes of all diseases 1) unwholesome contact of sense organs with their objects 2) intellect impairment 3) seasonal changes contrary to normal variations and therefore understanding the cause is the key to treatment and well being.
Important aspects that should be considered for maintaining Good Health include – Ahara (Diet and dietary rules), Nidra (sleep), Dinacharya (daily routine in line with the biological clock), Sadvritta (moral conduct), Nidan parivarjana (getting rid of the causative factors that are responsible for the derangement of Doshas and imbalance), Meditation and Mental Health. Diet and Digestion are specialities of Ayurveda and play an enormous role in any self-healing program. The Rasayana or the rejuvenation concept of Ayurveda is planned in such a way that it has a comprehensive influence on the body and the mind resulting in physical, physiological and psychological wellbeing.
Nature is a great healer – Research is showing that people who spend time in green spaces experience fewer diseases, have longer life spans and feel less stressed. Other studies (Japanese research) have shown that certain invisible compounds in some trees can reduce stress hormones, lower anxiety, improve blood pressure and immunity.
In Ayurveda, the third quality of the Mana is Sattva which is a positive property of the mind exhibiting goodness, intelligence, virtues, equipoise, wisdom, compassion and thereby showing full control over the negativities of the mind. The wisdom of Ayurveda focuses on incorporating a code of conduct (self-discipline) to ensure mental health and happiness – this can be achieved through the concept of Rasayana (Medhya Rasayana (herbs that will influence the mind in a positive way) and Achara Rasayana (code of conduct)
There are many ways to stay happy and to improve mental health and you can choose from any of these –
- Spend time with Nature (go for walks)
- Stay active on a daily basis as far as possible
- Be kind to yourself
- Do a task that you enjoy
- Sleep and Rest adequately
- Watch and listen to something that uplifts your mood
- Develop an attitude of gratitude
- Be kind and compassionate
- Talk about your problems with family and people you trust
- Help and share with others especially those in distress and in need
- Stay in tune with the natural cycle of the day
- Eat nutritious food and drink lots of water
- Stay away from negative people
- Make a list of feel-good things
- Bask in the sun every day
- Understand the difference between pleasure and happiness
- Use good quality spices in making meals to maintain and improve and to get rid of any deficiency of micronutrients in our body. Which helps to improve immunity
- Stay happy and smile often
- TAKE BREAKS OFF SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR PHONE