Ayurveda and Depression

Ayurveda and Depression

Ayurveda and Depression

By Dr Ashok BansalAyurveda

Depression is a mental condition which is characterized by acute and persistent feelings of restlessness, sadness and hopelessness. You will no longer feel energetic to carry out usual tasks and become reclusive in nature.

Causes

Genetic, environmental, cognitive and personality factors are usually blamed for causing mood disorders such as depression. Stress many times precipitates this problem. Recent studies in modern science have revealed that depression results from an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

In Ayurveda, imbalance in psychic energies (sattva, rajas, tamas) supported by imbalance of physical energies (vata, pitta, kapha) are believed to cause various mental disorders. This applies to depression as well. Lack of mental discipline, indulgence in negative thoughts and activities and negative emotions, such as hatred, anger, etc. are known to cause imbalance in psychic energies which in turn leads to diseases like depression.

Ayurveda is a system of medicine that focuses on treating depression by eliminating the root cause of the disorder; also they are free from side effects.

The various ayurvedic remedies for depression are:

  1. Practice Detachment: In ayurvedic practices, you should avoid excessive attachment with materialistic things. A thing such as money does bind you to the material world and even minor fluctuations can hamper your mental health.
  2. Diet can Remedy Depression: To balance the various energies in the body, it is important that you eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid eating meat; instead add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. This provides nourishment to your body and improves your wellbeing.
  3. Get Sound Sleep: To prevent depression, follow proper sleeping habits. Aim for 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, as sleep helps in reinvigorating the body, also eliminating and flushing out toxins from your system.
  4. Exercise Regularly: Perform yoga and other exercises on a daily basis as they help in building strength; both physical and psychological. It is no surprise that being in good physical health can mightily reduce chances of getting engulfed in depression. Exercise also releases a hormone called ‘endorphin’ in the body that makes you happy; it helps in relaxing your mind post workout.
  5. Practice Relaxation Techniques: Include relaxation techniques such as meditation to your daily agenda. Meditation has a calming effect on the mind besides making you more mindful. Start with simple techniques like focusing on your breath; such simple starts can accumulate wonders for your mental health.
  6. Include Spices in your Food: Research proves that adding spices such as black pepper, turmeric and cumin to your diet as they help in uplifting your mood. They also have medicinal properties which help in keeping your body healthy.

Ayurveda advises therapies, lifestyle adjustments and herbal preparations that clear and strengthen the mind allowing us to cope with life’s challenges more effectively and also bring positivity to our lives at all levels.