9 Ayurvedic Tips for Stress Relief and Happiness

Date Posted:27 July 2012 

Heart health is a concern for many people. In the United States, heart disease makes it to the top of the list as the number one killer for both men and women, resulting in someone having a heart attack every twenty seconds. If these statistics do not concern you, they should. One in four people in the US have some form of heart disease; every thirty seconds, someone dies as a result.

Ayurveda, five thousand year old holistic approach to life and medicine, is still relevant for today's time, if not more so now, and offers many tips that can keep your heart healthy and happy with natural cardio supplements.

Stress Relief

In Ayurveda, each individual is made up of their own archetypal constitution, known as doshas. There are three main doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, and while most people are dominant in one dosha type, they may present with a combination as well. Certain dosha types are more vulnerable to the negative effects of stress, toxic overload, and ill health. Pitta types, for example, have a tendency to focus on perfection and push themselves too hard in order to achieve that perfection. This need to push their limits leads to sleepless nights and increased sensitivity of the body's flight or fight system.

Outside demands, such as children, financial worries, and career, can also contribute to the amount of stress one experiences. Finding measures of stress relief is essential for your heart health. You can obtain stress relief by knowing your dosha type and the correct lifestyle for that type, knowing your limits and setting boundaries, and refraining from judging yourself and others.

Choose to be Happy

While it may sound trite, there is an ancient Sanskrit proverb that states: how a man thinks is how a man is. Negative thinking and always looking for things to complain about expends too much mental energy and will leave you mentally exhausted and emotionally fatigued. This is extremely detrimental to heart health. Cultivating a positive outlook on life is great stress relief and lightens the load placed on the heart, the mind, and the body.

According to Ayurveda, emotions like sorrow and joy are seated in the heart, and while sorrow can be a normal part of life, suppressing those emotions will damage your heart and lead to ill health. Find your bliss by focusing on positive activities, healthy relationships, enjoying the world around you and taking care of your emotional and physical health.

A Heart-Healthy Diet, Ayurveda-Style

While each dosha type has their own needs and requirements for an overall diet, there are many things any dosha type can do to improve their heart health. Incorporate more whole, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, and pay attention to serving size. People used to the Western lifestyle have a tendency to eat more than they need at each sitting. Ayurvedic principles recommend only eating what can fit in your cupped hands. Look for farmer's markets for your produce, which tends to have been grown locally and with healthier measures than big box grocery stores. Stay away from junk, processed, and chemically-laden foods. While Americans tend to eat 'comfort foods' as a form of stress relief, this can add unwanted pounds and extra work for your heart. Find healthier ways to relieve stress instead.

Breathe. Just Breathe.

While breathing seems like common sense and an involuntary act, Ayurveda takes breathing to a whole new level and has virtually turned it into an art form. The practice of pranayama is a yogic breathing technique that provide fantastic stress relief and can lower blood pressure on the spot, once it is mastered. It calms the system, increases the amount of oxygen within the blood, and restores emotional balance. A simple pranayamic breathing exercise is inhaling until the count of six and then exhaling for a count of eight, while sitting in a cool, dark room.

You may only be able to do this for two or three repetitions without feeling slightly light-headed or dizzy. This is normal, as your brain and body are not accustomed to the amounts of oxygen they are receiving. Eventually, you can increase the amount of breathing cycles you do until you can do it comfortably for ten minutes at a time. If you are prone to panic attacks or hyperventilating, you may want to seek the guidance of an Ayurvedic specialist who can help you learn proper breathing techniques.

Get Some Sleep

One of the first things compromised with a hectic lifestyle is the amount and quality of rest you receive each night. People have a tendency to stay up later to get more accomplished and end up tired and aggravated the following day. Then, they use sweets and caffeine to keep themselves going as they hit slump after slump. This is horrendous on your heart and overall well-being. Ideally, you should go to bed when the sun goes down and rise when the sun comes up to allow your body the maximum restoration and rejuvenation. Learn to prioritize in order to get everything done in the appropriate time and do not push yourself too hard.

Proper Hydration

If you eat a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, you should be getting close to the amount of water you need each day. However, drinking water throughout the day is still essential to your heart health. Water helps regulate the body's temperature and metabolism, composes over seventy five percent of the brain, removes waste from the body's channels, and helps your body absorb essential nutrients. The average one hundred and fifty pound person should be taking in about seventy-five ounces of water per day. Some of the foods that contain over ninety five percent water include cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, blueberries, and romaine lettuce.

Cardio Supplements

Taking cardio supplements, in addition to proper eating and exercise, can do wonders for your heart health. Specifically designed formulas, minerals, vitamins, and herbs can enhance and support your heart. Maharishi Ayurveda recommends taking Blissful Joy and Worry Free to support and improve your emotional well-being, which will have a positive effect on the heart as well. Elim-Tox-O or Elim-Tox will help remove accumulations of toxic ama and clear the body's channels, so your lifeforce can flow freely. It is not enough to just take cardio supplements, however. These are just a support system for your heart to be used in conjunction with a heart-healthy diet, adequate rest, being properly hydrated, breathing and meditation, and exercise.

Exercise

Get up and get moving to keep the beat of your heart healthy and happy. Exercise is not only a great form of stress relief, but it gets the lymph fluid in your body moving and strengthens the heart muscle. It does not have to be overly extensive exercise; simply taking a brisk walk in nature thirty minutes a day is a great way to keep your heart healthy.

Meditation

According to Ayurveda, meditation is an essential element for stress relief and heart health. Whether you practice Transcendental meditation or your own form of quiet prayer and solitude, it is an important part of your health and well-being. These nine tips, as well as incorporating a lifestyle tailored to your specific dosha type, will keep your heart and your health happy.