Ayurveda is an ancient school of medicine that focuses on achieving optimal health and wellness by harmonising the mind, body, and spirit. While Ayurveda is frequently connected with physical health, it can also play an important role in supporting mental health and emotional wellness. In this post, we will look at Ayurveda’s role in fostering emotional wellness and managing mental health disorders.
Recognising Mental Health
The emotional, psychological, and social well-being of a person is referred to as mental health. It has an impact on how we think, feel, and act. Mild to severe mental health issues can have a substantial impact on a person’s quality of life. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are all common mental health issues.
An Ayurvedic Approach to Emotional Wellness
Ayurveda is an ancient medical practise that has been practised for thousands of years to promote physical and emotional well-being. Emotional wellness is seen as an important component of overall health and well-being in Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic approach to emotional wellbeing focuses on promoting inner harmony and balance through balancing the mind, body, and spirit.
Our emotional wellness is directly related to our doshas, or energy types, according to Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, there are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha has distinct emotional qualities and imbalances that might have an impact on our emotional well-being.
The approach to encouraging emotional wellness in Ayurveda is to identify the source of the imbalance and remedy it with natural treatments and holistic practises.
The Ayurvedic approach to emotional wellness entails detecting any dosha imbalances and then taking actions to restore equilibrium. This can include a variety of practises such as dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal medicines, yoga, meditation, and other forms of awareness.
Some specific Ayurvedic practices that can be helpful for emotional wellness include:
- Following a balanced diet that includes foods that are grounding, nourishing, and calming.
- Practicing daily self-care rituals, such as oil massage, self-massage, and dry brushing.
- Incorporating mindfulness practices, such as yoga, pranayama, and meditation, into your daily routine.
- Taking herbal remedies or supplements to support emotional balance, such as ashwagandha, Brahmi, and Jatamansi.
- By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can promote emotional wellness and enjoy a greater sense of inner peace and balance.
- Emotional Wellness with Herbs and Spices
- Ayurvedic medicine employs a range of herbs and spices to promote emotional well-being.
Ayurvedic Medicines have specific role in Emotional Wellness
Here are a few examples of commonly used ones:
- Brahmi – Brahmi is a herb that can aid with memory, attention, and anxiety reduction.
- Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic plant that can help reduce stress and anxiety while also improving general emotional well-being.
- Turmeric contains a chemical known as curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory qualities and can help alleviate sadness and anxiety.
- Holy basil, commonly known as Tulsi, is a herb that can help relieve stress and anxiety while also promoting relaxation.
The Ayurvedic Diet for Emotional Wellness
In Ayurveda, diet is important in achieving emotional wellness. The Ayurvedic diet emphasises fresh, nutritious meals that are customised to the dosha of the individual. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like ghee and coconut oil are all good for emotional wellness. It is also advised to avoid processed meals and coffee.
Yoga and Mindfulness for Emotional Wellness
Yoga and meditation are two holistic practices that can be helpful in promoting emotional wellness. Yoga involves gentle stretching and movement that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Meditation can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety and depression.
There are several yoga and meditation practices that can be helpful in promoting emotional wellness. Here are a few examples:
Yoga poses or asanas are a great way to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Some poses that can be helpful include:
- Child’s pose (Balasana)
- Corpse pose (Savasana)
- Cat-Cow pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
- Downward Dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
- Pranayama – Pranayama or breathwork is a powerful practice that can help calm the mind and reduce stress. Some pranayama practices that can be helpful include:
- Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)
- Deep Belly Breathing (Diaphragmatic Breathing)
- Humming Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
- Meditation – Meditation can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote emotional wellness. Some meditation practices that can be helpful include:
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Loving-Kindness Meditation
- Transcendental Meditation
It’s crucial to remember that everyone’s needs are different, so pick a practise that works best for you. You can work with a yoga or meditation teacher to identify the practises that are best for you.
Ayurveda provides a natural and holistic approach to emotional wellness and the management of mental health disorders. Ayurveda can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and enhance general emotional wellbeing by addressing the core cause of dosha imbalances and employing natural therapies and holistic practises. If you are suffering from a mental health problem, you should consider Ayurvedic medicine as an alternative therapy option to traditional medication. However, before beginning, it is critical to consult with a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare expert,
Here are some scientific facts about the Ayurvedic approach to emotional wellness:
Diet and Lifestyle Changes:
Studies have shown that dietary changes and lifestyle modifications can have a significant impact on mental health. For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine found that a 6-week Ayurvedic-based lifestyle intervention led to significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and stress levels among participants. Another study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that Ayurvedic dietary and lifestyle modifications were effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
Saper RB, Kales SN, Paquin J, et al. Heavy metal content of Ayurvedic herbal medicine products. JAMA. 2004;292(23):2868–2873. doi:10.1001/jama.292.23.2868
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Ayurvedic herbs have been used for centuries to support emotional wellness. For example, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in several clinical trials. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that ashwagandha root extract was as effective as a commonly prescribed antidepressant in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Similarly, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine found that a combination of Brahmi and ashwagandha was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012;34(3):255-262. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.106022
Singh N, Bhalla M, de Jager P, Gilca M. An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.
Yoga and Meditation:
Mind-body practices like yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. A systematic review published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that yoga-based interventions led to significant improvements in mood and psychological well-being among participants. Similarly, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice found that mindfulness-based interventions, such as meditation, were effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Pascoe MC, Bauer IE. A systematic review of randomised control trials on the effects of yoga on stress measures and mood. J Psychiatr Res. 2015;68:270-282. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.07.013
Khoury B, Sharma M, Rush SE, Fournier C. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 2015