"stress" is difficult to define and may mean
different things to different people in
different circumstances. Stress is the
uncomfortable gap between... how we would
like our life to be and how it actually is
.if this gap is persistent (or even worse:
growing) - despite our efforts to reduce it
then our mind feels uneasy, restless,
disturbed, agitated, frustrated, tense,
heavy or strained, we are said to be under
We are living in the society in which
worries, stress and strain are too rich.
Worries about security, economic
difficulties, and emotions are becoming more
common and will effect on health and
longevity of life. Body and mind, are
subjected to more stress.
It is important to target the etiological
factors while managing such cases. Therapies
aim to bring the mental and physical
conditions to normal state. Nevertheless,
one must be careful not to create imbalance
in other factors to avoid negative and
Causes of Stress
The causative factors of stress are broadly
divided into two types
External stressors: include adverse
physical conditions (such as pain or hot or
cold temperatures) or stressful
psychological environments (such as poor
working conditions or abusive relationships)
, rules, regulations, "red tape," deadlines.
It also includes major life events: death of
a relative, lost job, promotion, insults,
being ignored etc.
Internal stressors: can also be
physical (infections) or psychological.
Lifestyle choices: caffeine, not enough
sleep, overloaded schedule.
Negative Thinking: Pessimism,
Mind traps: unrealistic expectations, taking
things personally, exaggerating, rigid
Stressful personality traits: perfectionist,
Vata and Pitta constitution people.
Type of stress: Stressors can also be
defined as short-term (acute) or long-term
Acute Stress: Acute stress is the reaction
to an immediate threat, commonly known as
the fight or flight response. The threat can
be any situation that is experienced, even
subconsciously or falsely, as a danger.
Common acute stressors include: noise,
crowding, isolation, hunger, danger,
infection, and imagining a threat or
remembering a dangerous event.Under most
circumstances, once the acute threat has
passed, the response becomes inactivated and
levels of stress hormones return to normal,
a condition called the relaxation response.
Chronic Stress: Frequently, however, modern
life poses on-going stressful situations
that are not short-lived and the urge to act
(to fight or to flee) must be suppressed.
Stress, then, becomes chronic. Common
chronic stressors include: on-going highly
pressured work, long-term relationship
problems, loneliness, and persistent
Common manifestations of stress -
Digestive system. It's common to have a
stomachache or diarrhea during stress. This
happens because stress hormones slow the
release of stomach acid and the emptying of
the stomach. The same hormones also
stimulate the colon, which speeds the
passage of its contents. Chronic stress can
also lead to continuously high levels of
cortisol. This hormone can increase appetite
and cause weight gain.
Immune system. Chronic stress tends to
dampen the immune system, making one more
susceptible to colds and other infections.
Nervous system. If fight-or-flight response
never shuts off, stress hormones produce
persistent feelings of anxiety, helplessness
and impending doom. Oversensitivity to
stress has been linked with severe
depression, possibly because depressed
people have a harder time adapting to the
negative effects of cortisol. The byproducts
of cortisol act as sedatives, which
contribute to the overall feeling of
Cardiovascular system. High levels of
cortisol can also raise your heart rate and
increase your blood pressure and blood lipid
(cholesterol and triglyceride) levels. These
are risk factors for both heart attacks and
Other systems. Stress worsens many skin
conditions — such as psoriasis, eczema,
hives and acne — and can be a trigger for
Ayurvedic Stress Management
Providing understanding and guidelines
for balance in body, mind and spirit,
Ayurveda gives us Panchakarma Therapy as
well as herbal healthcare to maintain the 'Tridoshas'
in balance throughout our mind and body.
Pancha Karma therapies has been used for
centuries in the Ayurvedic management of
disease. Pancha Karma is the process which
gets to the root cause of the problem and
corrects the essential balance of 'Tridosha'
in body.The therapies specific for Stress
conditions are Shiroabhyanga, Shirodhara,
Shirovasti, and Abhyanga.
The drug used in the treatment are mostly
medhya drugs or medhya rasayanas which are
believed to act as specific molecular
nutrients for the brain affording a better
mental health leading in turn to alleviation
of the behavioral alteration and to cope up
day to day stress.
Yoga - Progressive deep relaxation , i.e.,
Shavasana (Corpse posture) brings about a
relaxed state of mind and practicing it
daily is very useful in reducing stress.
Daily practice of 'Yoganidra' is also useful