Date Posted:7 May 2014
Have you wondered if your low or variable mood might be due to depression?
Symptoms of low mood can progress into depression and express as
- a moderate, pervasive unhappiness
- a loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- low self-esteem,
- ranging through to an unshakeable depressed mood
- be accompanied with anxiety, suicidal tendencies, addiction or even violent behaviour.
Maharishi Ayurveda understands that depression is a result of imbalance in Sadhaka Pitta – which impacts the heart and emotions and then the mind.
Pitta is increased by mental stress, physical strain and overwork, stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and spicy, acidic food. The increased heat of Pitta imbalance disturbs the nourishing co-ordination of the heart and mind leading to an imbalance in the mind.
Treat the whole person
To help restore heart-mind health and restore a healthy balance of mind and body, requires a whole of life approach. Put simply, what we eat, how we move about, how we sleep and relax, how we reduce stress and how we enjoy our work are all important.
A diet of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains are recommended. Avoid leftovers and prepackaged foods as they lack vitality and can increase feelings of heaviness and dullness.
Pears, walnuts and boiled milk are nourishing for the mind and emotions. If you are feeling 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 spice such as ginger, fenugreek, turmeric, cloves, black pepper, cumin and coriander assist with digestion and clearing impurities as well as offsetting sluggishness.
Herbals that help include Blissful Joy which promotes emotional balance by nourishing the heart, mind and the link between the two. This can be taken along with Rejuvenation Plus when there is a desire for more energy.
Taking a walk as the sun is rising is a traditional recommendation for helping to balance the mind and body. Exercise helps move blocked emotions and hormones from the body and increases the production of positive neuro-hormones to elevate your thoughts and mood.
Doing 6-12 cycles of the yoga postures called Sun Salutation (while facing the rising sun) is also an excellent way of increasing mental and physical energy.
Start your preparation for bed early by 9 pm – so that you are comfortably in bed and light out for sleep by 9.30 – 9.45. Being in bed by this time makes it easier to go to sleep and to stay asleep.
Herbal that aid sleep are Slumber time tea and 2 tablets of Blissful Sleep to help with sleep onset, or Slumber time tea prior bed with 2 tablets of Deep Rest if your tendency is to wake in the night and have difficulty going back to sleep.
Relaxaton and Play
Allowing space in life to enjoy the beauty of a sunset in a beautiful location, time to laugh with, or dance with friends and family are important tonics that help lift ones mood.
Regular practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been shown to decrease depression and improve orientation towards positive values. TM works on the mind and body, by releasing stress we feel better and when we feel better we are more motivated to live a healthy life and less inclined to use alcohol or drugs to relieve tension.
Wellbeing research by the Gallup Organisation shows that it is important to do something each day that we really enjoy doing, or are passionate about. This may or may not be part of your paid job. Doing what gives you pleasure is important.
Following the recommendations above have helped many of my clients to once again find their sunny side and enjoy a happier state of mind and body.
Wishing you the bliss of balance.
Maharishi Ayurveda Practitioner
Get Balance Team