How’s your mood these days?
Author: Linda Sinden Date Posted:20 November 2019
As you read the following quote from Shakespeare in his play Hamlet, pause and reflect upon how much you dentify with Hamlet’s sentiments...
"I have of late but wherefore I know lost all my mirth, forgone all my custom of exercise, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with gold fire, why it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me: no, nor woman either"
- Shakespeare: Hamlet (Act II Scene 2)
In modern parlance we would say he is feeling low or maybe depressed. Low mood states can happen to us all from time to time, especially when under sustained pressure or when unable to resolve a dilemma. If left unresolved overtime a low mood state can become depression which is one of the most common health conditions in the world. It can affect how you think and behave, and can cause a variety of physical and emotional repercussions.
Which of the following have you experienced for more than two weeks?
- Feeling low or depressed, most of the day, nearly every day, and my mood is often worse in the morning and improves as the day goes on.
- Anhedonia - an inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events like eating, social or sexual interactions.
- Weight change loss of weight when not dieting or gain of weight associated with increased or decreased appetite.
- Disturbed sleep-insomnia with early morning waking (2-3 hours) sooner than usual or hypersomnia (oversleeping).
- Psychomotor agitation (restlessness) or retardation (slowed down) as observed by others.
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Reduced libido (Decreased sex drive).
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Diminished (decreased) concentration.
What does my score indicate?
If you can say yes to one or more of the above then it’s time to take action to restore balance to the Pitta subdosha that governs the heart and emotions called Sadhaka Pitta.
When Pitta becomes imbalanced by mental stress, physical strain and overwork, stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and spicy, acidic food, it disturbs the lubricating quality of Tarpaka Kapha, which is responsible for coordinating the heart and mind.
This in turn leads to an imbalance in Prana Vata, which governs the mind. The excess heat from Pitta frustration and changeability in the mind from airy Vata combine to dry up the lubricating, stabilizing quality of Kapha.
What can I do?
By understanding what is really happening on the physiological level, the Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparations and aromas bring balance and nourishment to all the areas that are out of balance. For example, Maharishi Ayurveda Blissful Joy tablets promotes emotional balance by nourishing the heart, mind and the link between the two promoting overall balance to the mind and body. Taking 1-2 tablets after breakfast and evening meals helps to restore balance to Sadhaka Pitta.
Also using Pitta Aroma Oil daily is very heartening with it’s sweet aromas being both soothing and uplifting. It is also helpful to support stamina, strength, vitality, endurance and natural immunity by taking Rejuvenation Plus 1-2 tablets along with Premium Amla Berry 2 tablets 30 minutes before breakfast and evening meals.
Taking advantage of the cycles of nature can help to provide consistent energy levels and sound sleep. Getting plenty of rest and feeling refreshed in the morning is essential for emotional well-being.
- Arising before 6am is vital in preventing the heaviness of depression. When you get up with the rising sun you experience the lively, light energy of Vata time.
- Sleeping into Kapha time, past 6 am, creates sluggishness in the mind and body as the channels of the physiology become blocked with impurities.
- Kapha time at night, between 6pm and 10pm, is the best time to go to bed as the Kapha’s heaviness produces a deeper, restful sleep.
- If you stay up past 10pm into Pitta time, you tend to get your second wind and it is harder to unwind and fall asleep. Pitta time at night is for processing and cleansing impurities from the body. If you are awake at this time, this function of metabolism is impeded and you tend to feel groggy and lethargic when you wake up.
Walking in the early morning also helps to open the channels and stimulate digestion and elimination. Exercise helps move blocked emotions and hormones from the body and increases the production of positive neuro-hormones to elevate your thoughts and mood. Yoga asanas are also very good for balancing the emotions, integrating mind and body, and cleansing toxins and impurities from the body. Swimming, cycling and brisk walking are a great way to stimulate and enliven the physiology. What forms of exercise do you like to do?
A diet of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains provides optimal nutrition without the heaviness of fast food, left-overs and packaged food.
- Natural, unprocessed foods are more easily digested by the body.
- Pears, walnuts and boiled milk are nourishing for the mind and emotions.
- If you are feeling low in mood or depressed, it is best to avoid any cold, heavy foods such as yogurt, cheese, cold milk and chocolate as they will only increase the mental heaviness.
- Small amounts of spices such as ginger, fenugreek, turmeric, cloves, black pepper, cumin and coriander assist with digestion and clearing impurities as well as offsetting the sluggishness of excess Kapha.
Avoid drugs, smoking and alcohol.
Alcohol, smoking and illicit drugs can worsen low moods or depression. To help dealing with life’s challenges consider resourcing yourself with new tools and techniques for coping. One technique I personally find invaluable and have recommended to many clients (and seen the difference it makes) is Transcendental Meditation.
Kate Devlin Medical Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph in April 2010 commented about research on those practising Transcendental Meditation and its effect on stress and depression:
“Those with depression reported that their symptoms had nearly halved within three months of starting treatment, and the effects were maintained across the rest of the year-long study.
Similarly, in patients at risk of developing heart disease, the full benefits were seen within three months, over the course of which time depressive symptoms fell by around a third.
The effect also continued through the rest of the year of the study, during which the participants continued to use the meditation, the findings show.
Last year researchers found that meditation could cut the chances of a heart attack in patients with heart disease.
Previous studies have also suggested that Transcendental Meditation can reduce blood pressure, and may be useful for patients suffering pain, sleep problems, fatigue and anxiety disorders.
Earlier this year a mental health charity called for the treatment to be readily available on the NHS for people suffering from depression.”
Tell your friends family and those closest to you about what you are going through. The more support you have the easier it is to take the actions outlined above to help restore balance to your mind and body.
Wishing you the bliss of balance today, and always.