Relaxed, calm, peaceful – these are just some of the few words we use to describe the good old days.When we think of our childhood or hear stories about our grandparents’ younger days, we can’t help but feel a longing for the simplerand happier past. Life was more stress-free, we laughed more and we were more at ease with our surrounding. One of the reasons could be the absence of ‘stressors’ which creates so much worry in our present-day lives. We might not be able to reduce all these stressors, but we can control our reactions to them.
Ayurveda is seen as one of the most effective ways to connect the past to the present and to control the level of stress in our lives. This traditional lifestyle helps us to manage our reactions to everyday stressors and reduces the level of tension in our bodies. Ayurvedic medicines and treatments result in and require a stress-free mind and body. This is the reason why practitioners emphasise supplementing main Ayurvedic treatments with meditation, yoga and breathing exercises.
We have always stressed. It is an automatic ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction in the face of any danger. The difference between stressing in the past and in the futureis the amount of rest we got between stressful periods. In the past, we enjoyed a longer non-stress period than we did in the present. Today, with the smallest of things triggering a stress reaction, we do not get enough time for rest and recovery. ‘Stress hormones’ which are released in the presence of stressors (such as traffic or bills) are not given enough time to exit the body before we experience another stressor. Because these hormones still linger in our bodies after the end of a stressful event, we experience chronic stress in the modern era.
According to ancient Ayurvedic principles, the human body has three types of biological energies or doshas, mainly vata, pitta and kapha. The ratio of these three doshas in a person’s body makes up his/her individual prakruti, or constituition. A person’s prakruti, in turn, determines his/her physical, physiological and personality characteristics, as well as vulnerability to diseases. The doshas of a healthy person are well-balanced. Any disturbance to the balance of the doshas manifests in the human body in terms of sickness and diseases. Ayurvedic medicines aims to detect any imbalance in the doshas and reverse this disturbance and its consequences on the human body.
So, where does stress come into this equation? Ayuveda states that stress can greatly influence the balance which exists among the doshas of a person. The release of stress hormones can lead to one of the doshas becoming overly dominant or another becoming completely ignored. It is this imbalance which is the root cause of many of our ailments. Reducing stress is, therefore, one of the possible ways to limit the asymmetry in our doshas and, consequently, any illnesses. As Ayurveda focuses on the connection between biological energies and the physical body, this practice advocates a stress-free life in order to keep the doshas in balance. Lower levels of stress have been positively correlated with better health, longer life spans, reduced diseases and overall happiness.
A perfectly balanced system of doshasprovides us with the stress-free life which is reminiscent of our childhood. By adopting Ayurveda, we are a step closer to bringing the joys and calmness characteristic of our past back to our present. Stress-free life is not an end result of Ayurvedic treatment – rather it is a means to the treatment. Make your life worth living by choosing the Ayurvedic way of life.