Calming anxiety is no easy task, whether it's acute or general, it can take over and exhaust your inner reserves. The Ayurvedic school of health has a variety of natural approaches to ease the symptoms of anxiety, allowing you to feel lighter throughout the day and sleep better at night.
Anxiety affects the majority of those living in the Western World, especially those who find themselves in corporate environments where productivity is valued above all else. But this is certainly not the only group suffering from anxiety. It can affect us all at some point or another and can present itself differently in each individual.
Listening to your body and bring awareness to the situations, mental loops, diet choices, etc. that aggravate anxiety in you is the first step to easing it's effects on your mental and physical health.
What does Anxiety look like?
Symptoms of anxiety can vary greatly but will often present as
Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
Being easily fatigued
Having difficulty concentrating, mind going blank, racing or unwanted thoughts
Being irritable or hyper-vigilant
Having muscle tension
Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
Difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
Sweating, excessive worry, nausea, palpitations, or trembling
Ayurvedic Approach to Anxiety
Ayurvedic medicine recommends a holistic approach to easing anxiety which incorporates diet, sleep, exercise and specific herbs.
Herbs for Anxiety
Ashwagandha - natural cortisol manager
Boosts mental focus, improved vitality , promotes natural sleep patterns
Take as a tablet, liquid extract or powder. Not recommended to consume over 50ml day
Brahmi - adaptogen herb for stress
Improves memory, boosts serotonin production, strengthens immunity, reduces inflammation
Take as tablet or liquid extract
Jatamansi - powerful herb for peaceful sleep
Relaxes mind and body, promotes digestion, immunity booster
Take as powder or essential oil
Peppermint - muscle and mind relaxant
Energizing and uplifting, reduces frustration, cooling effect,
Take as essential oil or tea
Maca (Peruvian ginseng) - energy booster
Increase stamina and energy, promotes sleep, balancing moods and hormones, reduce blood pressure, aids in weight loss
Take as powder mixed in smoothie
Chamomile - anti inflammatory for everlasting calm
Promotes peaceful sleep, improved digestion, lowers inflammation, aids in blood sugar regulation
Take as capsule, liquid extract, tincture or tea
Lemon Balm - all healing for your brain
Treats nervousness, improved cognitive functioning, relieved indigestion nausea and menstrual cramps and headaches
Take as capsule or powder
Herbs for anxiety-related issues
Fatigue and exhaustion = milky oats or liquorice
Heartache, grief, guilt = lavender, motherwort, rose
Trauma that feels caught in throat = lemon balm, yarrow
Anger, disappointment = dandelion root, burdock root, artichoke
Loneliness = holy basil, rosemary, frankincense
Chronic illness, recovery = reishi mushroom, chaga, lions mane
When adding anything new to your daily routine, it is best to begin with small doses at first and observe how your body reacts. If you are pregnant, nursing, battling a serious illness or currently taking other medications, it is always recommended to consult your doctor, naturopath, etc. prior to consuming any of the herbs mentioned above.
Creating a Routine
In addition to adding certain herbs to your diet, it is also extremely important to create and maintain a daily routine as much as possible. Having a routine to rely on can have a positive effect on the feelings of uncertainty, restlessness and stress that come with anxiety.
Sticking to a sleep schedule according to your dosha constitution
Exercising, even lightly, every day
Breathwork, meditation, journaling, or other meditative practices
Eating healthy, nourishing foods
Avoiding processed foods and alcohol
Giving yourself permission to take time away from the productivity mindset
Sharing time with friends and loved ones who fill you up with love and support
Avoiding situations and people that aggravate your anxiety
Yoga Flow for Better Sleep
Light exercise and breathing techniques are incredibly helpful when trying to maintain a level of calm and peace. In addition to keeping you in the moment which calms the mind, it allows your body to release some of the physical tension that you're carrying around. Try this flow before getting into bed and let yourself relax into a well deserved, good night's sleep.
If all else fails, know that you're not alone and that the Unalome Tribe is here for you. A daily retreat can help you de-stress and reconnect. A weekend retreat can really help you dive into those issues and come out feeling light and refreshed. A reiki session is highly recommended if you're short on time and feeling like you need something to shift - let's let your energy flow!