Healing anxiety and balancing vata with ayurveda

Healing anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental disorder. Ayurveda believes anxiety is an imbalance in the Vata dosha. An imbalance of Vata is a condition when there is too much energy in the mind and not enough at the feet. This condition is associated with an overabundance of lightness when a person gets erratic thoughts, worries, obsession, confusion, and difficulty in focusing. Vata imbalance is also associated with the nervous system and sleeping disorder. When Vata is disturbed, we feel disconnected from the earth.


Symptoms of anxiety 

Anxiety disorders have a number of manifestations and symptoms. It can be both psychological and physical. Some of the common symptoms are: 

  • Constant worry
  • Fear
  • Obsession
  • Stress
  • Muscle tension and body pain
  • Difficulty in concentrating and disturbed attention
  • Low tolerance power
  • Obsessive and negative thoughts
  • Intense emotions that are hard to control
  • Sleep problems
  • Stomach upset
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Dryness in the mouth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Cold and hot flushes
  • Weakness
  • Irritability


According to Ayurveda, anxiety or Vata imbalance can be treated by stabilising the energy, calming the nervous system, relaxing the mind, releasing obsessive thoughts, and connecting these with our body and to the earth. These can be done by making changes in your lifestyle and adopting Ayurvedic lifestyle.


Meditation: It is a magical tool for healing anxiety. Regular practice of meditation helps to release negative thoughts, regulate the breath, and keep us grounded and connected to the earth. Gradually, you will learn to control your mind and, in turn, will be able to manage anxiety. Meditation taps into the channels of the mind and helps to re-pattern our thoughts.

Pranayama: It stimulates the breath and infuses prana in every cell and tissue throughout the body. Disturbances in prana usually lead to fear and feelings of anxiousness.

Foods: Ayurvedic approach to treat anxiety is holistic. For the treatment of the imbalanced Vata, a proper diet is recommended that includes fatty foods, but not heavy foods. Fats that are found in avocado, salmon, olive oil, nuts, coconut, and whole milk help to calm Vata. It is very beneficial to eat zucchini, rice, quinoa and red beets. Fruits like plums, melons, red grapes are suggested. You should avoid raw foods. Your food should always be warm. Have spices that boost Pitta like ginger, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and cardamom. You can have warm beverages with honey to balance Vata.

Routine lifestyle: Follow a daily routine and avoid erratic lifestyle. This means your sleep hours, meals, work time, etc should be timely. Daily exercise, outdoor walks, and yoga are must. Routine helps to stabilize Vata and calms the chaotic mind.

Ginger-baking soda bath: A warm bath relaxes the nervous system, and makes the mind calm. A ginger and baking soda bath helps to reduce feelings of anxiousness by pacifying Vata. Take a warm water bath at night before going to bed with baking soda and ginger powder mixed in it. The ginger and baking soda bath will make you feel soothing and warm. You can also drink ginger tea. Ginger is warm and good for the cold Vata.

Herbs: Ayurveda recommends a variety of herbs to handle anxiety. These herbs are warm and help to rejuvenate the nervous system. Most of these herbs have grounding effect on our energetic body. Some of these herbs are green tea, ashwagandha, shankhpushpi, brahmi, jatamansi and tulsi. These herbs help to balance Vata dosha.


Tulsi or basil protects against chemical, emotional, and physical stress. You can sip on tulsi tea throughout the day. Ashwagandha is a great herb in Vata balancing. It is soothing and warm. Jatamansi, a strong antioxidant, helps to calm Vata and treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Gotu Kola is a magic herb to treat anxiety, depression and stress. Bacopa or brahmi is beneficial in treating anxiety.

Oils are extremely effective in the treatment of imbalanced Vata. Oil massages with ayurvedic oils or essential oils are recommended before going to bed, particularly, massage your feet with these oils. It not only helps to give you good sleep but also makes you calm and relaxed, which are essential for treating anxiety.

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