Stress is your body’s reaction to being under pressure from a specific situation or event. It could be a physical, psychological, or emotional reaction. We have all experienced stress at some point in our lives. Perhaps it’s your job, a family illness, or financial difficulties. These are typical triggers. Not all stress is harmful. It can make you more aware of your surroundings and keep you focused. In some cases, stress can provide you with strength and enable you to accomplish more.

Ayurvedic treatment for stress and anxiety

Ayurveda categorises stress into manoghata vihara. Due to unhealthy food, irregular routine and mental disturbances like bhaya (fear), krodha (anger), shoka (grief), loba (greed), moha (attachment), ayasa (confusion) etc. the manovaha strotas get afflicted. This also afflict the dhatus (tissues), and ojas (immunity) and all these factors lead to stress. Acharyas say ‘Sahasam sada varjayate’ as the best ayurvedic stress relief method. The quote means to hit at the root causes that create the disease. Shastra’s also mention that to protect health; one should also stop over-exerting themself. The few best ayurvedic medicine for stress and anxiety are Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Jatamasi, Vacha etc.

Ayurvedic treatment for stress and anxiety described by acharyas is as follows:

  • Shirodhara:continuous pouring of warm medicated oil or herbal decoctions or buttermilk over the forehead is called shirodhara. The technique shirodhara helps to bring down the elevated serotonin levels and stabilises the mood. Shirodhara also helps lower stress hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline, thus relieving stress and tension.
  • Abhyanga:abhyanga (full-body oil massage) helps to release tension from muscles and joints. Abhyanga, followed by a steam bath, calms the mind and nourishes the body.
  • Talam/ pichu– special herbal powders mixed with medicated herbal oil is applied on the head and covered for some time. Keeping oil pads over the head is called shiro pichu. These are very much beneficial in treating mental stress, anxiety and depression. 
  • Yoga nidra:at Sitaram, we teach the technique of yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is a deep state of conscious awareness which gives relaxation to the mind and body. 

We also advise a specific ayurvedic diet to counteract the stress releasing chemicals.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Acute Stress 

You may experience stress for a short period of time. Usually, there is nothing to be concerned about. For example, when you need to turn in a project or speak in front of a group of people. Perhaps you feel “butterflies” in your stomach, and your palms start to sweat. These types of positive stressors are fleeting, and they are your body’s way of assisting you in dealing with a potentially tricky situation.

Chronic Stress 

If you ignore your stress for an extended period of time, it can harm your physical, mental, and emotional health, especially if it becomes chronic. You must be aware of the warning signs of chronic stress to treat it.

If you ignore your stress for an extended period of time, it can harm your physical, mental, and emotional health, especially if it becomes chronic. You must be aware of the warning signs of chronic stress to treat it.

The physical symptoms include:

  • Disturbed or poor sleep.
  • Myalgia and tension in the body.
  • Poor digestion.
  • Loss of libido.
  • Fluctuating blood pressure.

Emotional symptoms are mood swings, restlessness, anxious behaviour, irritability, and sadness. In few individuals, they exhibit signs of stress overload. Those symptoms are – panic attacks, overeating, depression, withdrawal from family and friends, drinking and smoking etc. 

What are the causes of stress?

Everyone experience stress differently. What bothers you may not bother your best friend and vice versa. However, many stressors can have a negative impact, including – 

•Work-related stress
•Family and relationship problems
•Losing a job
•Death in the family
•Busy schedules 

Nonetheless, our bodies respond to stressors in the same way. This is because the response is your body’s way of dealing with complex or demanding situations. It affects the hormonal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Stress, for example, can cause your heart to beat faster, your breathing to become more rapid, you to sweat and tense up the body. But, on the other hand, it can also provide you with a burst of energy. 

This is referred to as the body’s “fight-or-flight response.” Because your body believes it is under attack, this chemical reaction prepares it for a physical response. This type of stress enabled our ancestors to survive in nature.