Unfortunately, anxiety has become a common experience amongst all age groups in today’s society. As our modern lifestyles become busier (and at times overwhelming) it’s important to have effective strategies in place to help keep us grounded and well.
It seems that all of us will feel the effects of anxiety at some point in our lives, which is why it is so important to know the signs and symptoms, as well as some healthy techniques for prevention and treatment.
The Effects of Anxiety
Predominantly a Vata imbalance, anxiety can manifest in the mind and body in many ways. Here are some typical symptoms of anxiety so you can understand its root cause being related to imbalanced vata:
Common symptoms of anxiety:
- Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
- An unrealistic view of problems
- Restriction of the breath
- Muscle tension and aches
- Headaches and jaw tension
- Difficulty concentrating; mind racing
- Nausea, sweating and lethargy
- Fidgeting, trembling and twitching, jumpy
- Numbness in hands and feet, dry, swollen throat and mouth
Common symptoms of Vata imbalance:
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Hyperactivity, confusion, feeling highly strung
- Racing mind, insomnia or light sleeping
- Feeling ungrounded, insecure and restless
- Loss of appetite, excessive thirst, bloating, gas, constipation
Managing Anxiety with Ayurveda
Here are five simple tips to help balance your Vata and minimise your anxiety levels.
- Daily routine
Establish a daily routine where you rise, eat, work and sleep at regular times. Try to factor in time for exercise, meditation and self care, and be sure to allow plenty of time for your meals (try not to eat on the go!).
A diet of warm, easy to digest, whole foods will help to keep you feeling grounded. Grains, soups, sweet fruits, warm milky drinks are best, and try to avoid stimulants and refined sugars that may overwhelm your nervous system.
Yoga asanas are a wonderful form of exercise for people who suffer from anxiety. Energising yet calming, yoga postures such as forward folds and Child’s Pose are particularly balancing. A brisk walk, swimming or other non-competitive sports are also good for relieving nervous tension and increase mood enhancing endorphins.
Meditation helps in relieving stress, worries, and anxiety. It also awakens and cultivates the innate intelligence, peacefulness, and spiritual love lying inside us. By regularly cleansing our heart and mind with mantra meditation we can discover and experience our real identity, self-worth, and purpose in life – all of which help us to feel grounded, nourished and content. (Learn more about meditation here)
- Pranayama (Yoga Breathing)
Recent studies have shown that yoga breathing can help in reducing cortisol levels, slow down an overactive mind, improve your mood, whilst improving the integration between the mind and body.
By Samantha Doyle