Ayurveda describes the state of complete health as a fine balance of Vata, Pitta, Kapha, seven tissues, a well balanced agni, cheerful and optimistic mind and soul, and alert senses.
If anyone out of these is not in place, one cannot be in a perfect shape of health. Ayurveda asserts that health – harmony – happiness arises first in Mind. Mind is therefore of central importance.
Ayurveda describes healthy mind is governed by Satwa, Rajas and Tamas Gunas. The three gunas are one of the prime themes of Ayurveda understanding of mental health.They are the energies through which not only the surface mind, but our deeper consciousness functions.
Sattva is the quality of intelligence, virtue, and goodness and creates harmony, balance, and stability.
Rajas is the quality of change, activity, and turbulence. It introduces a disequilibrium that upsets an existing balance.
Tamas is the quality of dullness, darkness, and inertia.
Ayurveda states that an imbalance of Rajas and Tamas leads to the disturbance of mental health disorders- manasika vikaras including – Kama (Lust), Krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), irsha (jealousy), mana (pride), mada (euphoria), shoka (grief) and chittodwega (anxiety).
Out of the body humors- Vata- Pitta and Kapha- Vayu is said to be the vital force (niyanta and praneta) of Mind. A slight imbalance in Vata is equally responsible for an anxious mind.
Ayurveda also states a unique principle of food (Ahara) affecting the mind. Like the three gunas of mind, food which we eat also possess the three gunas- Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. Any incompatibility on these food also affects the state of mind.
To summarise, the stimuli which lead to imbalances of Rajas and Tamas, those which lead to vata imbalance and food we take lead to the complete pathogenesis of anxiety.
Therefore, Ayurveda states a comprehensive approach of Ahara, vihara, aushadh and kriya which are gentle in action – which focus to balance the Satwa- which calm down the vitiated manogunas and which balances the aggravated Vata are very effective in seeking serenity in the condition of anxiety.
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