Published 15-01-2024

Exploring the Ayurvedic Perspectives on Stress V/S Anxiety


Exploring the Ayurvedic Perspectives on Stress V/S Anxiety

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal is a renowned Ayurvedic physician, Panchakarma therapies specialist, and detox expert who has made significant contributions to the field of natural holistic healing and wellness. With her profound knowledge, expertise, and compassionate approach, she has transformed the lives of countless individuals seeking holistic health solutions. She is a Panchakarma expert, which are ancient detoxification and rejuvenation techniques. She believes in the power of Ayurveda to restore balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit.

In today's fast-paced world, the prevalence of stress and anxiety has become almost omnipresent, impacting individuals across various age groups and lifestyles. The constant demands of modern life, coupled with the pressure to meet societal expectations, contribute to an environment where stress and anxiety thrive. It's crucial to recognize that while these terms are often used interchangeably, they represent distinct aspects of mental well-being.  

Understanding the difference between stress and anxiety is vital for effective management and targeted interventions. According to the Ayurveda the harmonious balance between body, mind, and spirit improves health. It recognizes the interconnectedness of various factors influencing well-being, including lifestyle, diet, and mental state. In the realm of stress and anxiety, Ayurveda provides a unique perspective, offering not just symptom relief but a comprehensive approach to addressing the root causes. In this blog post, our main focus is to know the differentiation between stress and anxiety and how, with the help of Ayurveda, mental state can be restored. 

Understanding Stress in Ayurveda

Stress is characterized as a disturbance in the natural equilibrium of the mind and body, disrupting the harmonious flow of energies. Termed as "Chittavikshepa," this disturbance reflects the mind's inability to remain steady and calm. Ayurveda recognizes that stress is not solely a mental phenomenon; rather, it manifests in both the mind and the body, affecting overall health and well-being. 

Types of Stress

1.Acute Stress: Short-term stress triggered by specific events or situations.  

2.Chronic Stress: Persistent and prolonged stress over an extended period.  

3.Episodic Acute Stress: Frequent episodes of acute stress, typically experienced by individuals consistently in high-pressure situations.  

4.Situational Stress: Stress triggered by specific situations or events.  

The Role of Doshas in Influencing Stress

The three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—play a pivotal role in influencing an individual's response to stress. Vata, characterized by qualities of air and space, governs movement and change. Pitta, associated with fire and water, regulates digestion and transformation. Kapha, embodying earth and water, provides structure and stability. Imbalances in any of these doshas can contribute to the manifestation of stress, albeit in unique ways. 

Also Read: Navigating the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety Management 

Symptoms of Stress from Imbalances in Doshas  

Symptoms of Stress from Imbalances in Doshas

1. Vata Imbalance 

Physical Symptoms  

  • Restlessness and an inability to relax  
  • Irregular sleep patterns and insomnia  
  • Digestive issues such as bloating and constipation  

Emotional/Mental Symptoms 

  • Anxiety and fearfulness 
  • Racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating 
  • Feeling overwhelmed and scattered 

2. Pitta Imbalance

Physical Symptoms 

  • Increased body heat and sweating 
  • Digestive problems like acidity and heartburn 
  • Skin issues, such as rashes and inflammation

Emotional/Mental Symptoms 

  • Irritability and impatience 
  • Intense and competitive drive 
  • Perfectionist tendencies lead to frustration when expectations are not met. 

3. Kapha Imbalance

Physical Symptoms 

  • Lethargy and fatigue 
  • Weight gain and inactive metabolism 
  • Respiratory issues, like congestion and allergies 

Emotional/Mental Symptoms 

  • Resistance to change and a desire for routine 
  • Emotional heaviness and a sense of being stuck 
  • Lack of motivation and enthusiasm

Ayurvedic Insights into Anxiety

Anxiety is described as a manifestation of an imbalanced mind and disturbed Prana (life force). Termed as "Chittodvega" or "Manasika Vikara," anxiety reflects an excessive and often irrational worry that disrupts the natural flow of mental energies. According to the World Health Organization, atleast 4% of the global population currently experience an anxiety disorder. Ayurveda recognizes that anxiety can affect both the mind and the body, leading to various physical and psychological symptoms. 

Types of Anxiety

1.Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life. 

2.Panic Disorder: Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, often accompanied by a fear of future attacks. 

3.Social Anxiety Disorder: Intense fear and avoidance of social situations due to fear of judgment or embarrassment. 

4.Specific Phobias: Intense fear of specific objects or situations, leading to avoidance. 

5.Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) leading to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to alleviate anxiety. 

6.Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Develops after exposure to a traumatic event, causing persistent distress. 

Anxiety Disorders Due to Dosha Imbalances

Symptoms of Anxiety from Imbalances in Doshas

Specific imbalances in Vata, Pitta, or Kapha can influence the mind, emotions, and nervous system, contributing to anxiety. For instance:  

  • Vata Imbalance: Excessive Vata may result in erratic thoughts, heightened sensitivity, and restlessness, contributing to anxiety.  
  • Pitta Imbalance: Increased Pitta can lead to intense emotions, irritability, and a tendency to overthink, fostering anxiety.  
  • Kapha Imbalance: When Kapha is imbalanced, a person may experience lethargy, emotional stagnation, and a persistent sense of worry. 

Relationship Between Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are interconnected, with chronic stress often contributing to the development or worsening of anxiety disorders. Prolonged exposure to stressors can disrupt the body's balance and contribute to the persistence of anxious thoughts and feelings. Conversely, heightened anxiety can make individuals more susceptible to stressors, creating a cycle of reciprocal influence. Managing stress and anxiety involves recognizing triggers, implementing coping strategies, and seeking support when needed. While some levels of stress and anxiety are inherent in human experience, addressing excessive and persistent symptoms is essential for promoting mental and emotional well-being. Professional guidance and therapeutic interventions can be valuable in developing effective coping mechanisms and fostering resilience in the face of life's challenges. 

Ayurvedic Approaches to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Ayurvedic Approaches to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to managing stress and anxiety, addressing the root causes while promoting overall well-being. The following strategies encompass lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and Ayurvedic therapies:  

 1.Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Establishing Routine (Dinacharya): Implementing a daily routine helps create stability, promoting a sense of security that can counteract stress and anxiety.  
  • Mindful Practices: Regular practice of pranayama (breath control) and meditation calms the mind, enhances focus, and balances the nervous system.  
  • Yoga Asanas: Incorporating yoga postures tailored to individual doshas aids in releasing physical tension, improving flexibility, and fostering mental clarity.  
  • Adequate Rest and Sleep: Prioritizing sufficient and restful sleep is crucial for rejuvenation and maintaining mental equilibrium.  

 2.Dietary Adjustments

  • Balanced Diet: Emphasizing whole, seasonal foods and maintaining regular meal times helps stabilize blood sugar levels and supports overall vitality.  
  • Herbs and Spices: Including herbs and spices with adaptogenic properties, such as ashwagandha, brahmi, and tulsi, can enhance resilience to stress.  
  • Warm, Nourishing Foods: Cooked foods over raw or cold options are recommended, as they are easier to digest and grounding for the body and mind.   

3.Ayurvedic Therapies

  • Abhyanga (Oil Massage): Regular self-massage with calming oils like sesame or brahmi oil promotes relaxation, reduces muscular tension, and nourishes the skin.  
  • Shirodhara: This therapeutic technique involves pouring a continuous stream of warm oil onto the forehead, calming the nervous system and promoting mental tranquility.  
  • Ayurvedic Medicines: Ayurvedic medicines for stress and anxiety, such as Shirashuladivajra Ras, Arogyavardhini Vati, and Sutshekhar Ras, are known to soothe the mind, elevate stress, and contribute to overall emotional well-being.   


By delving into the Ayurvedic perspectives on stress and anxiety, we uncover not only the root causes but also personalized strategies to restore balance. Ayurveda encourages a lifestyle that considers individual constitutions and imbalances, fostering a harmonious existence. For those seeking a more balanced and harmonious life, exploring Ayurvedic practices becomes a transformative journey. In this pursuit, connecting with a knowledgeable practitioner can offer personalized guidance, and we recommend reaching out to Dr. Ayush Pandey, a highly skilled Yoga and Naturopathic Consultant who can be found on HealthyBazar for online consultation. With six years of invaluable experience and expertise in Yoga, Pranayama, Naturopathy, and holistic healthcare for even specific conditions like headaches due to stress, Dr. Ayush Pandey brings a unique blend of traditional wisdom and modern insights to address mental health concerns. Take a step towards a more balanced life to embark on a transformative journey to optimal mental well-being.

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2024

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