Depression, An Ayurvedic Perspective
Hands up who has experienced depression at some point in their life?
Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer depression, and generally more women will be affected than men.
To put it simply, depression is a loss of fight and a spiral down towards darkness. It can be said that it often comes with those with a high intellect or over sensitivity.
According to Ayurveda, the disease progresses in stages:
Normal: Continue with negative attitude
Acute: Immediate darkness, can lead to suicide.
Deep: Loss of mental clarity, childlike.
It can be caused by numerous factors such as external events, suppressed emotions, body (dosha) imbalances, poor diet, weak middle mind, lack of support, direction and failure to meet expectations, astrological influences or hormonal disturbances.
Its symptoms are failure to act, sadness, laziness, drowsiness, dull, insomnia, lack of clarity, low digestion and sluggish metabolism.
Here are 6 ways to beat it without the drugs:
Bring sharpness quality into diet.
Sharpness is the opposite of dull and weak. What does a sharp diet look like? It usually found in certain vegetables and spices such as black pepper, ginger and chilli peppers.
Eat a nourishing diet that is fresh and light. Light foods will counteract the heaviness.
Rise before the sun and work up a sweat. Between 6am and 10am is the best time to exercise as this is when muscular strength naturally increases. Exercise will offset laziness and lethargy through intensity and stimulation. The best types of exercise? Walking, swimming and Surya Namaskara (yoga sun salutation).
The goal of Ayurveda is to move into a place of “Sattva”, which translates to “purity, clean, conscious” and away from “Tamas” which means “darkness.” The way to get there is through “Rajas,” which is “action”. By choosing the positive way and increasing Sattva through healthy food choices, engaging in positive relationships and keeping the body clean and free from environmental toxins. Adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle and slowing introducing its principles and practices is a great place to start and naturally Tamas will go.
Ayurveda has some great natural herbs for the mind. Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Nutmeg are all great and can be found in Ayurvedic teas, singularly or in formulations. They are also used in oils for Ayurvedic treatments.
Regular head massage
Stimulate the head with massage. Either do it yourself or ask a therapist to do it for you. Bala or Brahmi oil will be best.
A regular meditation practice such as Vedic meditation is a simple and effortless way that naturally allows the mind to calm and the body to experience profoundly deep levels of relaxation. 20 minutes, morning and evening, is all that is required to decrease stress and improve health, happiness, clarity and general wellbeing.