As habitual creatures, we find change very difficult to comprehend and accept at times. Especially when situations are dramatically altered, practically overnight. As we move throughout our daily lives, it’s evident in conversations, behaviors, the news, social media, etc. that there is a growing sense of unrest in the US. So many people feel as if they are in crisis and are looking for answers on how to stay calm in a crisis.
This crisis management mode creates tension, anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, fear, and uncertainty. In the healing system of Ayurveda, these are classical symptoms of an imbalance of Vata dosha. Vata is the energy of movement. Too much movement is destabilizing, both physically and mentally. The mind can’t stop racing and it’s difficult to stay still. You feel as if there is something which you should be doing, but you’re not sure what. And it’s not a simple task to stay motivated or on task. You doubt yourself and become filled with a sense of dread. How do you get off this cycle? After all, how can you make a difference when you are so ungrounded?
Here are some simple suggestions for how to stay calm in a crisis: the Ayurvedic way.
– Don’t multi-task. The more that you try and do at once, the more that Vata gets elevated and you actually become more scattered. So instead of getting more done at once, you actually accomplish less.
– Eat warm, cooked foods. Ayurveda operates on the tenant of “like increases like”. Warm, cooked foods fortify the body, giving it strength and solidity to move forward with proper motion.
– Stop snacking on crunchy, dry foods. Because these foods are hard to digest, they keep the body in motion via habitually snacking and then creating gas and indigestion. When you are unable to digest what your body takes in, it creates greater mental tension and your mind has a hard time “digesting” and processing all the sensory input it receives.
– Gas, bloating, and indigestion are all signs of Vata imbalances. Intestinal discomfort will create constipation and the feeling of “being stuck”. Take some herbal supplements to support your digestive tract, so that you can feel empowered to act.
– Do an oil massage before shower with a warming body oil such as ashwagandha or a vata balancing oil. That dryness you are feeling internally is also a physical manifestation. Want to get your creative juices flowing? There’s an impediment to doing so if you are feeling dry and uninspired. That dryness manifests from the inside out when it comes to your skin. Doing a warm oil massage allows the oil to penetrate into the tissues and create more suppleness and freedom of being. Constriction will become a distant thought.
– Increased Vata creates anxiety, fear, tremors, ticks, spasms, nervousness, and insomnia. The mind is in constant motion. For mental stress, take herbal supplements to calm the mind and soothe the senses.
– Use an essential oil topically to help ground you. The nose is a gateway to the senses and our senses guide our minds and hearts. The more steady that you can be in your outlook, the more that you can be a steady presence in effecting positive change.
– Don’t suppress your emotions, but rather, find calm, non-combative ways to express what you feel. Try journaling daily at the same time, even if for five minutes.
– Take up a meditation practice. Turn off all electronic distractions. Sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. You may wish to repeat a mantra. If thoughts arise, let them pass and return to the breath.
– Engage in grounding yoga poses such as tree (vrikshasana), mountain (tadasana), and corpse (shavasana). These poses allow you to have a point of focus, and steady the breath and the mind. Practice restorative yoga as another method of how to stay calm in a crisis.
– Go to bed at the same time each night. Avoid using your cell phone or computer in the bedroom and don’t keep a tv there. Take an herbal supplement to help you sleep if needed.
– Once you are more grounded, seek an objective opinion about your crisis.
– Find tangible methods to deal with the issue at hand. Focus on what you can change, rather than what you cannot. Create a strategic plan and break in down into small measurable pieces. Agree to implement a portion daily/ weekly, etc. Periodically re-assess, re-strategize, and go back to your tasks. Give yourself credit for each agenda item which you accomplish.
These are some methods of how to stay calm in a crisis via the use of Ayurvedic regimens. For an individualized plan, please schedule a personalized consultation.
Also published on Medium.