Follow an Ayurvedic Routine to Keep Stress at Bay

Utilize the six tips below to become more cool, calm, and collected.
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Many of us may not realize how stress influences every part of our lives. According to Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine originating in India 5,000 years ago, stress is initially responsible for 90 percent of all illnesses.

Dr. Virender Sodhi, a preeminent Ayurvedic MD, Naturopathic Physician and CEO of R-U-VED Herbs based near Seattle, WA, explains that the initial symptoms of stress include fatigue, headaches, irritability, upset stomach, digestive disturbances, neck and back pain, and insomnia.  

While there are many unforeseen events that create stress, we make lifestyle choices every day that either bring about balance or create tension in our mind and body.  Dr. Sodhi suggests the following six basic tips for staying cool, calm and collected.

  1. Get Good Sleep – Follow the rhythms of nature: hit the sack by 10 p.m., and wake up at approximately 6 a.m.  Sleeping during this time period facilitates the best rest and healing functions of the body. “Getting a restful seven to eight hours of sleep is of utmost importance for stress reduction and optimal health,” he explained.
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  3. Eat regular meals - While your mind may resist it, your body thrives on routine, including three meals at approximately the same times each day. Eat calmly, without distractions, and allow yourself a few minutes to begin digesting your meal before resuming the next task.  “For those eating at work, find a quiet spot to eat, away from the computer,” adds Dr. Sodhi. Choose wholesome natural foods consisting of proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates to keep your body’s sugar levels – and stress response, at bay.  Take a break from sugar and fast food!
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    1. Take stress-reducing herbs - Ashwagandha is one of the most highly regarded herbs in Ayurveda, supporting a stable mind function and a restful state.  “Ashwagandha offers excellent support for everyone, from overworked students and parents to career-driven individuals,” said Dr. Sodhi. 
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      1. Take time to slow down and relax – Whether this means a daily meditation or a walk in the woods, take some time alone on a daily basis for reflection, key for rebalancing the body and mind. 
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        1. Exercise – Moving the body relieves stress and increases endorphins, the “feel good” hormone.  Find an activity that you enjoy so that you will be more apt to make it a regular part of your routine. 
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          1. Breathe!  - The ancient sages from India recognized the breath as important for balancing and de-stressing one’s body, mind and spirit.  One simple technique is simply to take a minute, three times a day, to breathe through your nose into your belly to the count of ten, and then slowly exhale through your nose to the same count.  (For more breathing techniques, click here.)
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        3. “If we can decrease our stress through balancing daily routines and supportive nutritional herbs, we are well on our way to better overall health, increased focus for dealing with life’s ups and downs and a renewed perspective, where we see challenges as opportunities,” concluded  Dr. Sodhi.

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