Description of the condition according to Modern medicine and Vedic literature
According to Modern Medicine: Stress is anything that constitutes any kind of threat that may be apparent or real to a living being. In this condition, environment demand starts straining one’s adaptive capacity, leading to biological changes and psychological needs. These may also drag one towards the risk of illness.
Anything which is causing stress to you will be called a stressor. Stress may affect anyone irrespective of gender, age, race, etc. Even anyone’s thoughts can cause stress and make their body susceptible to diseases.
According to Vedic Literature:
According to Vedic literature, stress is a root cause of several health problems. Irrespective of the cause of stress if it persists for long, often leads to loss of immunity in people. This condition is called Ojakhsaya in Ayurveda.
The three Doshas–
Vata, pitta, and Kapha along with the mental gunas of Sattva, rajas and tamas as discussed in Ayurveda are responsible for stress and anxiety. And based on the predominance of the respective Doshas the symptoms will develop and also define the coping capability of individuals. To cope with stress and maintain good health one has to fine-tune these doshas in perfect balance.
Types of Stress
According to the American Psychological Association, there are mainly 3 types of stress as follow:
- Acute Stress: In this types of stress, it is the most common among all types of stress. When occurs in small amounts, this stress looks exciting, while it is exhausting when in large amounts.
- Episodic Acute Stress: If your acute stress is becoming consistent and more frequent than before, then it has turned into episodic Acute Stress now. People experiencing this condition will always be seen as short-tempered, in a rush, irritable, disorganized, or anxious.
- Chronic Stress: Constant and prolonged stress that negatively affects the health over a period of time and often goes unnoticed and untreated . It is a destructive kind of stress which puts our mind and body under a lot of pressure . Some triggers of this kind of anxiety may include childhood trauma, poverty, failed marriages,everyday family or work pressures etc.
Causes of Stress and Anxiety
- Personal issues, which may include chronic illness
- Divorce or failed relationships
- Social problems like long working hours, discrimination, work pressure, harassment, etc.
- Any kind of financial obligations
- Life-changing incidents like shifting your house or death of a loved one etc.
- Traumatic incidents may include rape, violence, fight, etc.
- Uncertainty and Fear
- Rigid perceptions
- Pessimistic Thoughts
- All or nothing mindset
- Unrealistic expectations
Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
With stress and anxiety, one may have both psychological and physical symptoms. It is different in different people in terms of symptoms. Common symptoms of stress and anxiety may include:
- Muscle tension
- Rapid breathing
- Fastened heartbeat
- Appetite change
- Frequent urination
Stress and anxiety may also cause some emotional or mental symptoms along with physical ones. These may have:
- Nervousness or panic, especially in social situations
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Irrational anger issues
The vital energies or Doshas responsible for Stress and Anxiety in detail
According to Vedic Sciences, we can cope with stress or anxiety by maintaining and balancing these triggers. So, it becomes essential for us to understand these energies properly.
- Vata: This vital energy indicates creativity, quick thinking, intuitions, and innovation. If this dosha dominates in your body, you may get more inclined towards life changes which may make you feel somewhat panicked or anxious. Also, defeating Vata Dosha may also get you towards anxiety, fear, insomnia, isolation, etc.
- Pitta: This vital energy is explained as intelligent, determined, confident, and competitive. If this dosha starts dominating your body, it may take you through conditions like frustration, irritability, or anger issues. You may know about this dosha being dominating by looking at your symptoms such as heartburn, diarrhea, sweating, or hypertension.
- Kapha: This vital energy is about being steady, strong, rooted, and reliable. People who have Kapha dominance may get resistant to changes; they may become stubborn, non-flexible.
This all can become a reason for stress. You can notice a lack of motivation, tiredness etc., in them.
How to manage Stress?
We all have heard that prevention is better than cure. This is a true approach of Vedic Sciences also to treat and manage stress or anxiety. It means we should go straight to the root cause of our condition. The other way to manage stress is by enhancing your body’s ability to cope up with stress. This can be done by making lifestyle changes, adapting natural remedies, dietary changes, and so on. This approach to managing stress is known as Rasayana.
Natural Techniques to cope up with Stress and Anxiety–
Here is a list of 5 stress management techniques that you may use to have some relief:
- Lifestyle Changes: Modifying your lifestyle can help you with reducing the stress-associated symptoms and also give you a healthy and balanced life. These changes may include:
- Sleep: Lack of sleep induces such conditions a lot. So, make a proper sleep routine, and it will definitely help. In case of insomnia, you can try meditation, hot showers before sleeping, deep breathing, avoiding screens before sleeping, etc.
- Laugh more: Laughing is a much-underrated exercise. But it really may do miracles to you. Laughing helps in managing anxiety situations and making you feel light. You can induce laughter in your life by any means you like.
- Socialize: If you are alone most of the time, then this is the reason for your stress. So, start socializing more, and connecting with like minded people who will definitely make you feel better.
- Music Therapy: Music may provide real motivation and enhance your concentration also. So, practice listening to good music in order to fight your anxiety and stress.
- Meditation: Reaching mental harmony can only be done with meditation. Meditating will help you in the restoration of your inner peace. Also, it is an easy practice. It helps you with emotional well-being as well as provides you the ability to fight illnesses.
Ashwagandha is one of the most sought after and highly recommended herbs in Ayurveda These are known to improve one’s intellect and memory.
- It is an adaptogen.
- It helps to combat anxiety and improves concentration
- Reduces depression
Brahmi is also a very commonly used herb in Ayurveda.
- Boosts brain function
- Alleviates anxiety and stress
- Acts as a memory enhancer
Other herbs which can be used
- Kava kava