Secrets to a Stress-Free Body

By Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D.

Have you ever noticed that we each have our own unique emotional pattern in response to stressful events? According to Maharishi Ayurveda, we react to stress according to which dosha, or aspect of our inner intelligence, is getting thrown out of balance.

This depends both on our constitution and the type of stress involved. We can figure out the dosha associated with our response by looking at the kinds of stressors that disturb us the most, and the kind of symptoms we typically get when under stress.

Once we know which dosha is governing our stress response, the practical wisdom of Maharishi Ayurveda provides simple—yet powerful—measures to re-balance ourselves.

Feeling stressed out? Put it to the test! Find your profile below and follow at least one tip for the next week. Then re-assess yourself—in my clinical experience, following just one tip can make a big difference!

Which profile sounds like you?

The Vata Stress Profile

Irregular routine, late nights, too little sleep, eating on the run and lots of mental work are the recipe for imbalanced Vata—the intelligence governing our circulation and neuroendocrine system. Worry, anxiety, sleep deprivation, brain fog and forgetfulness are often predominant symptoms. Ignore it over the years, and high blood pressure, heart disease, degenerative joints and memory problems may result.

Best Balancers for Vata:

  • Go to bed early—by 10 p.m.—and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Give yourself an oil massage with Organic Sesame Oil each morning before your bath—it will make you feel more integrated for a smooth, peaceful day.
  • Favor warm, cooked foods, with plenty of "healthy fat" such as olive oil and ghee.
  • Avoid caffeine and stimulants.
  • Worry Free Tea (a favorite of business people) can be enjoyed all day long.
  • Worry Free tablets have been shown to lower anxiety as well as cortisol, the stress hormone.

The Pitta Stress Profile

Anger and irritability are signs that Pitta dosha, the "hot" dosha that governs digestion and metabolism, has been thrown out of balance. Add to that skin rashes or inflammation flaring up, and you can be sure your Pitta dosha needs pacifying!

Best Balancers for Pitta:

  • Drink plenty of pure spring water throughout the day.
  • Eat one teaspoon of Organic Rose Petal Spread each morning and evening when under stress.
  • Get outdoors and walk in nature for at least a few minutes each day.
  • Eat your meals on time, with a warm, cooked, wholesome lunch by 12:30 p.m. each day.
  • Take Stress Free Emotions if you suffer from anger or irritability—this herbal tablet works in minutes to soothe upset feelings.

The Kapha Stress Profile

Think of those who have trouble letting go of hurt from the past, or have trouble adjusting to something new—this is due to the sluggishness of imbalanced Kapha. The substance of our bodies—muscles, bones, fluids—is governed by our Kapha dosha, and is heavy, sticky and solid. When it comes to stress, Kapha helps protect us from feeling frazzled and tempers the toll on our bodies. However, once absorbed, stress tends to "stick" around, and requires more aggressive encouragement to clear out. Here are some tips to get "unstuck" and move on to the new joys that can follow stressful times if we are open to them!

Best Balancers for Kapha:

  • Exercise is critical to balance your Kapha dosha—especially vigorous workouts, social dancing, sports and other interactive and stimulating activities.
  • Don't spend much time alone—engage in activities with friends and family.
  • Add more spices to your food, especially cumin, coriander, black pepper and cinnamon.
  • Eat lighter in the evening to sleep better and wake up with more freshness and energy.
  • Blissful Joy tablets by were designed specifically to uplift mood and help metabolize a buildup of emotional stress. Take for at least a two-month trial period before expecting results, because Kapha symptoms need lots of time to rebalance.

Thanks to Maharishi Ayurveda, we have powerful tools to soothe our hearts, steady our minds, and protect our bodies from the damaging effects of long-term stress.

And don't forget to meditate! Consciousness is the basis of how we interpret stressful events, and ultimately determines how deeply they do—or do not—affect us. Regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation Program™, which creates a peaceful inner state of restful alertness, has been shown to reduce anxiety twice as effectively as other cognitive approaches, lower cortisol, and slow the aging process. Just what we all could use in these stressful times!

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.