In Ayurveda, emotional imbalances take place when we fail to process our emotions at the right time. Our low moods are of many forms—anxiousness, emptiness, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, irritability, social withdrawal, sadness, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, etc. These lead to difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, declining performance, and poor concentration. If we fail to process these emotions on time, they may lead to depression of the worst kind.
Ayurvedic approach to emotional balance
According to Ayurveda, our emotions get imbalanced due to many reasons. This ancient science says lack of coordination between our senses, emotions and thoughts lead to emotional imbalance. As per Ayurveda, our heart, which is the seat of consciousness, is connected with our mind. When this connection gets weak, problems start arising. Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, described the heart as the indispensable for our mental and physical activities. Ayurveda considers the heart as the main support system of our body.
According to Ayurveda, some people who can process their emotions quickly can move on with their lives happily. But people whose processing of thoughts is slow, the negative impressions remain with them for a very long time and affect their thoughts and emotions, leading to depression.
Sadhaka Pitta, which is a type of Pitta, is known to be located in the heart and the helps processing of emotions. The digestive fire, or agni, which is responsible for digesting our food, is actually in every cell of our body, and is also associated with each subdosha. The agni that is associated with Sadhaka Pitta is responsible for processing emotions. This agni is called Sadhaka Agni, which is related to neurohormones located in the brain and all over our body, including the heart. The neurohormones in the heart send signals to the brain stating it as depression or happiness, depending on how we process an incident or experience. So a person with low Sadhaka Agni will often face sadness or depression.
Solutions according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda offers a number of remedies to keep emotions in balance. To restore balance one can adopt an Ayurvedic diet, use Ayurvedic herbal formulas, practice meditation, and make lifestyle changes.
Ayurveda recommends practicing meditation to relieve emotional, physical, mental and environmental stress and achieve a stress-free life.
It is always advised to go to bed before 10 pm (Kapha time of night is from 6- 10 pm) as getting enough sleep is essential for emotional health. Falling asleep during the Kapha time gives you deep sleep and you wake up with refreshed mind and body. If we stay up beyond 10 pm, which is Pitta time of night, we will have difficulty in falling asleep. This can lead us to do unhealthy things like watching TV or snacking, leading to many other problems.
Wake up with sun rise because sleeping late into the morning, which is Kapha time (6 am-10 am), causes the build-up of ama or toxins in the body, leading to the channels of communication in the body to be clogged with impurities. This, in turn, leads to dullness of mind and depressed moods.
Walking outdoors when the sun is rising and breathing deeply is essential for your mental and physical health. Daily exercise is also essential to combat unhappiness as exercise helps to move blocked emotions and hormones out of the body.
Eat unprocessed, organic foods that are rich in nutritive values. They are digested quickly by the body and helps in formation of healthy Ojas, which according to Ayurveda, is the most essential energy of the body. Ojas is created by good digestion and leads to stable emotions and good healthy mind and body. Also avoid eating junk food, canned, frozen or packaged foods, as they promote the creation of ama.
A daily oil massage or Abhyanga increases circulation, allows toxins to be cleared from the tissues, calms the mind and soothes the emotions. The sense of touch is associated with emotions. Massaging gives your skin the stimulation needed to balance Vata dosha and calms anxious feelings and stress.
Consider doing yoga daily. Yoga stimulates the Sadhaka Agni, clears the toxins and improves overall balance of emotions.
Also include breathing exercises such as Pranayama, which opens the mental channels that take oxygen to the brain. Pranayama clears out impurities and create balanced emotions.