Psychological or mental health is as important as physical health. Ayurveda promotes maintaining unity between mind and body for overall health. Therefore, in Ayurveda, mental disorders or Manovikar are considered health conditions and are not stigmatised. There are also many tips, guidelines and recommendations mentioned in Ayurveda to balance the state of your mind and boost your mental health.
According to Ayurveda, a balance of Doshas and a pleasant state of mind are the two factors responsible for maintaining good mental health. Any imbalance in Doshas can affect your mental health and cause mental disorders. For example, Vata imbalance can cause anxiety and phobias, Pitta imbalance can lead to anger and obsession, whereas Kapha imbalance is associated with depression. Therefore, the first and foremost principle of Ayurveda is to maintain a balance of the Doshas.
Similarly, the state of mind also plays a leading role in defining your mental health. According to Ayurveda, there are three states of mind: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. ‘Sattva’ is a state of good mental health. It endows you with happiness, wisdom and productivity. On the other hand, ‘Rajas’ is in an ambitious and restless state of mind, and ‘Tamas’ is a lethargic and dull state of mind. When Rajas and Tamas are active, mental health gets affected, and mental disorders develop.
Ayurvedic Tips For Improving Mental Health
Ayurveda recommends increasing Sattva to balance the state of mind. There are many ways to improve Sattva, such as:
According to Ayurveda, sleep or Nidra is one of the three pillars of health. Ayurveda says that inadequate sleep can impair cognition and focus and increase anxiety. Therefore, you should follow the Dinacharya practices of Ayurveda that help improve sleeping. Some of these guidelines are:
Aahar is the next pillar of health, according to Ayurveda. Ayurveda recommends eating a diet that helps balance your aggravated Dosha or which suits your Prakriti.
There are many herbs in Ayurveda that improve mental health and treat mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Some of these herbs are Brahmi, Amalaki, Ashwagandha, etc. However, you must consume these herbs only after consulting an Ayurvedic doctor.
Ayurveda mentions many cleansing therapies, such as Abhyanga, Nasya, Shirodhara, Panchakarma, etc. These therapies help stimulate the digestive fire and remove Ama from the body, a few of the leading causes of mental ailments.
Pratyahara means sensory withdrawal. It helps to avoid negativity and digital overload to soothe your senses. You can include the following the practice to soothe and stimulate specific senses:
By boosting immunity and Ojas, you improve mental resilience. Therefore, Ayurveda highly recommends taking rejuvenating therapies, eating a nourishing diet and drinking herbal teas to improve your Ojas.
According to Ayurveda, mental health is extremely important for well-being, longevity and happiness. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends many guidelines for improving mental health. It promotes activities to improve Sattva and keep your Doshas in balance.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Ashwini