Lifestyle and stress –
Most individuals today are prone to multitasking. As a result they have a tendency to over-estimate their abilities and try to accomplish multiple tasks at the same time. This generally ends up in making them feel frustrated as they are not able to carry them out as per their expectations. To avoid this, it is better to set the priorities right and focus on one thing at a time. This increases the concentration as well as the efficiency.
Another dilemma which we come across in our normal routine is that we try to understand each and everything around us and if anything is beyond our philosophy or belief, we tend to worry about it and take on the stress. Guru Granth Sahib asks us to stop trying to understand the world but understand ourselves instead.
Next is the lack of synapses in life.Taking a break is considered waste of time by workaholics.This should not be the policy since the time you enjoy wasting is not a wasted time. Instead, it boosts up your mood and increases the energy levels of the body. As a result it is good for both physical as well as mental health. Easiest break is to go in for a power nap of 10 minutes; or going in for a relaxing medicated massage at least at weekends.
Ayurveda says –
Working of ‘mind’ consists of a balanced co-ordination between thinking( movement of thoughts), intellectual reasoning, memory, emotions and feelings. It says that thoughts are designed to be in a constant state of movement through the mind. However, if this natural flow of thoughts is not permitted, it leads to mental upsets. Depression occurs when we allow a thought or emotion to get fixed in our mental field and do not allow it to move on. It stays inside and goes around and around, until we go mad, get stressed, get depressed, or have a nervous breakdown. So do not allow a single thought, emotion, or feeling to be fixed in your mind and try not to hang out with it. Let the thoughts move on and allow them to be replaced by other thoughts. Allow the thoughts their natural flow and movement.
We have a choice to accept or reject a thought. The moment these thoughts become identified we can choose to let go by making a firm choice. If we realize too late and become trapped in a mental stir, we can divert our attention. Diverting the attention can be done by two means i.e. physical diversion or mental diversion. Physical diversion is through activity like exercise, yoga, walk, household work or any other hobby which you fancy. Mental diversion is through thought substitution is more beneficial, but it requires more practice and determination.
There is more to a woman-stress than it is to a man. This is due to the hormonal differences as well as the differences in the functionality of the brain. Physiological as well as anatomical differences give different stress levels in males and females. A woman goes through various phases of her life with the menstrual flow, from menarche to menopause, and this has varied effects on her physicality as well as her mentality. This is commonly referred to as mood swings. Hence we come across premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as menopausal syndrome in women. A constant change in levels of oestrogen, progesterone and androgen is reflected in various ways. Calming the nervous system is an important aspect for creating a natural flow of these hormones or else stress and menstrual irregularities occur. It should be noted that oestrogen is not only produced in the ovaries but adrenals also play an important role. If a woman is overburdened with stress throughout her life, the adrenals are exhausted and her natural source of oestrogens are affected at menopause. Thus even a menopause can be smoother if she is less affected by stress. Men are not forced upon by these changes though many men nowadays, experience a mid-life crisis.
Kids too are undergoing lot of stress today. It becomes the duty and responsibility of parents to use the stress relieving techniques for themselves so that they can take better care of the needs of their children and help them de-stress effectively.
Lack of awareness about herbal nervine tonics, people are left with no other option but to go in for anti-depressant pills. It should be understood that random popping of anti-depressants is not advisable unless strongly recommended by doctor. Instead, a balance should be maintained between work and rest. Herbal interventions prove to be of immense use in such cases. So it is advisable to give a break to the side-effects of anti-depressants and go in for herbal neuro-stimulants.
Herbal preparations overcome the ill effects of stress and to provide physical as well as mental health. Regular use improves memory and acts as brain tonic. Some formulae are a combination of carefully selected herbs which are known to have positive stimulation on nerve cells without worrying of addiction or withdrawal syndromes. Herbal intervention also plays an important role in the correction of hormonal imbalance.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Anti stress
Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Overall tonic for vitality and longevity
- Induces good sleep
- anti stress
- Anti convulsant
- one tsf of powder can be taken twice a day followed by milk.
- Supports and improves all aspects of mental functioning
- Is a calming and tranquilizing herb
- Memory enhancer
- 1 cup of brahmi tea or one tsf of powder or any other preparation of brahmi taken at bed time will induce a peaceful sleep and its regular use will cure insomnia.
Shank pusphi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) is a brain tonic.
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
- Regarded as most effective remedy for neurosis
- Increases the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin
- Anti depressant
- Anti epileptic
- Cardio tonic
- Balances systems of the body
- Good for those suffering from fatigue
- Combats sleeplessness
- 1/4 tsf powder can be taken at bed time.
Petha (Benincasa hispida) has a cooling and calming effect on the nerve cells. 20-30ml of its juice can be taken twice a day.
Tagara (Valeriana wallichii) detoxifies and rejuvenates the body along with stimulating the nerve cells. But it is best used as part of some herbal preparation.
Saffron is supposedly a boon for the brain cells. It can be taken with milk.
There are numerous other ayurvedic preparations as well as herbs which have been proven to be exceedingly effective in stress, depression and other mental disorders.
Besides these solutions, ayurveda strongly recommends some selected panchakarmas like medicated oil massages, shiro-dhara, takra-dhara and many more depending on the individual requirements the body. The details can be taken through any nearby ayurveda centre. Even a simple body and head massage with herbal oil can be of assistance after a stressful day.
Note: It is strongly recommended that the treatments as well as the medicines be taken under expert guidance of your doctor. Self-medication is always unsafe.