Stress from an Ayurvedic perspective

Stress aus ayurvedischer Sicht

How omnipresent stress throws us off balance

In evolutionary history, we found ourselves in stressful situations when we saw ourselves in danger, fled from an enemy or wild animal, or had to go into attack. Nowadays we get stressed when we are overwhelmed with our daily tasks. Pressure to succeed at work, striving to perfectly balance work, household and children and to have a great relationship, high demands on yourself and your appearance - stress is our constant companion.

Ayurvedic teachings distinguish between three types of stress

  • On the one hand, we experience physical stress through various diets that make us starve and put our organism in an emergency situation. Other physical stressors can include medication, restless and insufficient sleep, toxic environmental factors, excessive sports training, but also stimulants such as coffee, cigarettes and alcohol. It's almost unbelievable that every cup of coffee puts us in a stress mode that has an enormous impact on our metabolic processes.

  • Mental stress occurs when we fear for our existence, have relationship problems or fear of failure, or are under pressure at work.

  • Emotional stress happens to us when we have not processed certain traumas, we feel alone, have feelings of guilt, cannot satisfy certain needs and doubt ourselves.

What does stress mean for the body?

When stressed, the adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline. The hormone cortisol regulates fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, influences the production of thyroid hormones and the function of our reproductive system. Cortisol is a storage hormone. It stores fat in our cells in stressful situations and at the same time requires a lot of new energy in the form of food, which can lead to food cravings and obesity. Glucose (sugar) is pumped through the blood to our muscles and brain. Blood decreases in our organs, especially in the digestive and reproductive organs. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels rise as long as the “dangerous” stressful situation persists. We then return to relaxation mode with the help of the autonomic nervous system.

Stress explained in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, stress means that we are out of balance on a physical and mental level. Our health and well-being suffer as a result. 80 percent of illnesses are attributed to stress as the cause. Stress causes our bio-energies (doshas) to become unbalanced. The result: complaints such as hormonal imbalances, obesity, diabetes, sleep disorders, depression, skin diseases, cardio-vascular diseases, depression, digestive problems and chronic illnesses.

How the three doshas deal with stress

Vata types are particularly susceptible to stress

Stress basically increases Vata and Pitta dosha. People who generally have a lot of Vata in their constitution are therefore particularly susceptible to stress. Little effort, challenges or irregularities throw them off balance. Vata reacts strongly to an overstimulation of the sensory organs. The development of new media promotes this burden, but it is difficult to avoid these days. Vata quickly feels overwhelmed and is not very resilient. They can no longer think clearly, become restless, chaotic, doubt themselves, complain and only want one thing - to escape from the difficult situation. Vata constitutions tend to develop symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, inner restlessness, depression, hyperactivity, migraines, sleep disorders and musculoskeletal problems.

Pitta types have high expectations of themselves

Pitta types appear for the first time to be able to deal with stress well. They are performance-oriented, strive for success and recognition and enjoy competing. However, Pitta puts itself under pressure, wants to deliver perfectly and goes into attack mode in stressful situations. Pitta constitutions get very angry when something doesn't work, get into heated discussions and react strongly on an emotional level with anger and anger. Pitta people are very responsible, stand their ground and fight against stress until nothing works anymore. Then one speaks of a typical burnout syndrome. Among other things, symptoms such as high blood pressure, inflammatory skin diseases, stomach and intestinal problems such as heartburn, diarrhea and hyperacidity can arise.

Kapha people withdraw when stressed

People with a lot of Kapha in their constitution are naturally calm, deliberate and act slowly. Nothing upsets her so quickly. They are the most resistant to stress of all three constitution types. Kapha stands for harmony, cohesion, charity and growth. Kapha people can handle pressure and hectic pace very well. However, stressful situations can force them into paralysis. They often withdraw, build a wall around themselves and feel paralyzed. Stressed Kapha types retreat, make no progress and resign. Physical and mental problems such as listlessness, obesity, depression and respiratory diseases are the result.

Type-appropriate nutrition, spices and medicinal plants

In Ayurvedic therapy, stress is treated constitutionally. The aim is to bring the individual bioenergies (doshas) back into balance. A type-appropriate diet and the targeted use of spices are the most important tools in Ayurvedic medicine to balance physical and mental imbalances. This strengthens the digestive power and the body has sufficient prana (energy) available again. In addition, Ayurveda uses medicinal plants that work on a physical and psycho-mental level. Oil massages, yoga exercises, meditation and breathing techniques are also recommended to specifically reduce and prevent stress.

Ayurvedic plants to reduce stress

  • Ashwaghanda – the anti-stress plant
    Ashwaghanda root powder  convinces with a calming effect on the nervous system. It is one of the rejuvenating medicinal plants at the cellular level, especially for the muscles and bone marrow. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat weakness, tissue deficiencies, exhaustion, overwork and stress. Due to its clarifying and nourishing effects, it is one of the most important plants for the mind. Ashwaghanda has a Vata and Kapha reducing effect.

  • Brahmi (umbilical herb)
    The Brahmi plant has a balancing effect on the mind and promotes the regeneration of the central nervous system. In Ayurvedic medicine, Brahmi is used for depressive moods, inner tension and concentration disorders. It has Vata and Kapha reducing qualities.

  • Melissa
    Lemon balm is also often used as a natural medicinal herb in this country. Its essential oils have a calming and anti-anxiety effect.

  • Gotu Kola
    According to Ayurveda, Indian pennywort promises a memory-strengthening, mood-enhancing, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effect.

  • Triphala
    Triphala, the combination of Amalaki, Haritaki, Bibhitaki, supports digestion, detoxification and has a mild laxative effect.

You can find these Ayurvedic plants in powder form in our product Tanava - Balance for the day.

The anti-stress formula for your day in balance.