Ayurveda for Anxiety: How It Can Help You Live a Healthier Life

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Ayurveda is a holistic medical tradition that has been practiced for over 5000 years. It focuses on balancing the three body types – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The goal of Ayurvedic healing is to return the individual to a state of balance and health by addressing physical, mental and spiritual imbalances.

In this article, we will explore how Ayurveda can help people who suffer from anxiety, as well as what it means to have an Ayurvedic diet.

Anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety and social anxiety disorder, are among the most common mental health issues in the United States. While there is no cure for them, Ayurveda can help alleviate symptoms and encourage healing by improving the body’s ability to cope with stress. The four corners of Ayurveda are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The first step for treating anxiety is to pay attention to your mind-body connection so that you can understand where your anxieties are coming from.

The Ayurveda Experience

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of excessive worry or fear. It can be described as a state of apprehension, tension, and uneasiness. Anxiety is usually triggered by a stressful event that has not happened yet but might happen in the future. It is also caused by an unpleasant event that has already happened and has been worrying the person for some time. 

Anxiety can be classified into three types: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. For many people and situations, there is no concrete event that precipitates the feeling. It can also be caused by an event that has happened and continued to bother you for some time. 

Anxiety can be classified as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic anxiety about day-to- day activities associated with worry. This is a chronic mental health condition that can be ongoing or episodic and is typically characterized by uncontrollable worrying about everything from “what if” things go wrong to possible death.

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder where you experience recurrent episodes of intense fear that are so overwhelming, you may believe the world will end.

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is the most common type of anxiety disorder, where you have a heightened sense of self-consciousness and awkwardness in social situations because of an intense fear of being judged or ridiculed.

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The Causes and Statistics of Anxiety Disorders

There are many factors that cause anxiety disorders, but the most common causes are:

  • Genetic predisposition to anxiety disorder development. 
  • Trauma and developmental issues leading to a traumatic childhood. 
  • Environmental triggers such as overstimulation, childhood abuse, chronic stress.
  • Psychosocial stressors such as unemployment, relationship difficulties and financial strain can lead to psychogenic hyperventilation which can lead to an anxiety disorder diagnosis. 
  • Mental health history in the family may also increase the risk of anxiety disorders such as panic disorder. Triggering situations, such as the death of a family member or a catastrophic event, can cause someone to develop an anxiety disorder.

The Statistics

Anxiety disorders are more common in females with 7 million females suffering from some form and 3 million males. One in five Americans will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime and 17% of Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives with 17% experiencing panic attacks.

The most common class of anxiety disorders are those encompassed by the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for panic disorder. These disorders include agoraphobia, social phobia, and specific phobias. The other class comprises obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder which are not included in the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for panic disorder.

Agoraphobia is an irrational fear that places a person outside their comfort zone leading to a fear of open spaces or public places such as shopping centers, streets, buses, subways and airports.

Social phobia is the fear that results in avoidance of social situations where embarrassment or humiliation may occur. Specific phobias are defined by a specific object; for example arachnophobia would be the fear of spiders.

Although body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) can develop before any other difficulties appear in children who experience abuse, they are most often seen in children who have been in the public eye.

Anxiety is a normal, natural reaction to stress, fear, or anxious situations. It can be caused by many things, including stress at work or school; not enough sleep; overall fatigue and exhaustion from too much time spent worrying about problems in your daily life; and even just feeling overwhelmed.

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Ayurvedic Approaches to Treatment

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of natural medicine that has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is a holistic approach to treatment, with the focus on prevention and holistic healing. 

There are many different approaches to treating anxiety disorders in Ayurveda. These include:

  • Superimposing therapies and herbs to balance the doshas (vata, pitta, kapha)
  • Herbs to help release tension from nerves and muscles
  • Homa therapy: rituals that release tensions in your body, resolve conflicts, and promote health
  • Traditional massage using oils for detoxification of all systems of the body 
  • Using gentle yoga poses to release tension
  • Nutrition therapy: eating foods that help nourish and balance the body
  • External therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and other forms of traditional medicine 

It is important to remember that the treatments offered in Ayurveda are not quick fixes and they should not be taken without consulting a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.

Conclusion

Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that is characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and physical symptoms such as racing heart, muscle tension, and shortness of breath.

It is estimated that around 3.5% of the world population suffers from anxiety disorder. The most common type of treatment for anxiety disorder is medication. However, some people are not able to take medication or it may not be effective for them.

If you feel like Ayurveda could help you, then take it to see if it does or not. If you are unsure if Ayurveda is right for you, this article would recommend that you speak with your doctor and get a medical diagnosis first. 

Thanks for reading!

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