According to Ayurveda, mental health is an inseparable spoke in the holistic view of a human being – as connected to and informed by physical and spiritual health as they are to and by one another.
When we are born, we spend the first two years of our lives living and experiencing from a heart-centered place. We communicate with our families from that place, and in that place undiluted by verbal communication we feel safe, whole, complete and content.
Sooner or later comes a time when that sense of completeness and safety is tested. While the nature of the wound is different for each person, most of us experience in early childhood a sort of rupture in this heart-centered experience in which we get the impression that the world is not safe. It may be as simple as having our feelings hurt by another child on the playground.
At this point, the mind comes in to create barriers to our experience – barriers intended to keep us safe. While these protective mechanisms are perfect at achieving what they set out to originally do – keep us from being toppled by the rawness of our experience – by adulthood, the separation from direct experience itself often turns into the source of our suffering.
The suffering caused by this separation is, according to Ayurveda, what manifests in various versions of what we commonly call Anxiety and Depression.
Simply put, depression occurs when a person loses access to the essential Self as a result of this barrier.
The good news is, these experiences of disconnection can become the calls that beckon us to rewrite our destructive mental and emotional patterns, the driving force that can put us in the director’s chair of our own lives, as opposed to letting our concern for what others think of us write our life movie.
The Mind-Body Connection
Since the mind, body and spirit are all connected and informing of each other through the energy systems, the nadis and chakras, to support mental well-being it is important to engage in practices that balance the body, mind and spirit.
This is why Ayurveda may prescribe practices such as yoga, breathing (pranayama) and meditation, in addition to a balanced diet for your constitution or dosha on the road to healing mental suffering.
In addition, certain herbs and supplements have been found to support mental-health boosting functions such as stress, memory and mood. A list of the herbs LifeSpa recommends in the support of mental health can be found below.
- Have Dr. Douillard design an herbal program for you with a phone consultation.
- Get started healing with the 28-Day Ayurveda Challenge eCourse
- Shop by Health Topics in the LifeSpa Store
Need Supplements? We can help!
Bacopa was traditionally used as support for memory, mood, and focus, and has recently become popular for the same. Ayurveda maintains that the inability to focus is, at its core, an issue of stress-affected energy levels. The body and mind require a certain amount of energy to settle down and focus on one task. In Ayurveda, bacopa is understood to be a rejuvenative nerve and brain tonic. As such, it has been shown to support memory, learning, stable mood, and stomach and respiratory health.*
Brahmi Brain Named after one of the highest states of consciousness (Brahman or God consciousness), Brahmi-Brain (Centella asiatica) is one of the most powerful brain tonics in the Ayurvedic apothecary. Via its cooling and rejuvenating properties, brahmi supports energy and mental clarity while simultaneously encouraging deep, restful sleep. Famous as a tonic for nerve and brain cells, cerebral circulation, memory, intestinal health, and sleep, brahmi is revered as one of the most powerful and spiritual herbs in Ayurveda.
B-12 Boost is the most biologically active form of the water-soluble B vitamin, folate. It is the preferred form of folate supplementation due to an array of conditions that can limit conversion or absorption of folic acid. Data indicate that supplementing with 5-MTHF increases plasma folate more effectively than folic acid. MecobalActive™, which is found in the B-12 Boost™ formula, is a highly pure form of methylcobalamin that does not use any harmful solvents during manufacture.*
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is as pleasing as its fresh coconut fragrance and pure, white appearance. The oil is cold-pressed from non-GMO, freshly harvested coconuts so that the coconut meat has no time to ferment. The oil is free of bleaching agents, deodorizing agents, artificial flavors, or any other chemicals. Tiny, harmless brown specks of coconut fiber may be present because the oil is unrefined. Approximately 50% of this coconut oil consists of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) — fatty acids also found in a mother’s milk.*