Ayurveda puts a high focus on mental health and offers simple but ‘proven’ ways to maintain it. Mental health is essential to live a happy and prosperous life. It is the mind, which governs our body functioning by sending signals to each organ. Ayurved considers body (Sareera), soul (Atma), and mind (Manas) to be the ‘pillars of life.’ The connection between mind and body holds great significance in Ayurvedic theory.
Insight of the Mind
Physical imbalance can upset mental state while mental illness can lead to body disruption. The mind is related to 3 faculties by the name of Dhi (intellect), Smruti (memory), and Dhruti (information processing).
- Dhi is essential to learn, understand, and focus. It requires the balance of Vata dosha for optimum functioning.
- Dhruti relates to Pitta dosha, as it includes electrical and chemical processing of information.
- Kapha dosha links to Smruti and requires balance for proper functioning of memory.
The Spiritual & Universal Mind
In Ayurveda, spiritual mind (Chitta) also gets a prominent place. It is subconscious or karmic mind to carry subconscious memories. It is noteworthy that Chitta possesses memories from the past lives.
There is a universal mind called Vibhu in Ayurveda. This concept states that everything in this universe relates to one another. Thus, Vibhu generates a connection among every living being in this world.
A person, who uses meditation to reach higher dimensions, can go beyond the border of physical mind and unite with the universal mind.
Qualities of Mind
There are Trigunas (three qualities of mind) – Satva, Tamas, and Rajas.
- The Satvic mind is pure and always filled with kindness, love, and spirituality.
- The Rajasic mind is prone to world’s temptations and aggressive. However, when it is in right proportion, it can give a person leadership qualities.
- The Tamasic mind is doubtful, confused, and filled with darkness.
Ayurveda classifies mental strength into three categories – Avaram, Pravaram, and Madhyam.
People belonging to Avaram category fail to withstand traumatic situations. Madhyam comes in between while Pravaram is the best of all! Individuals, who belong to this category, can tolerate any difficulty. Meditation and experience help to attain this stage.
How to Get Optimum Mental Health?
It can be helpful to note that your diet can affect Trigunas. Natural foods such as milk, nuts, vegetables, fruits, etc. help to develop Satvic mind. Fried, spicy, salty, and fermented food involves hyperactivity and increases Rajasic factor. Alcohol, drugs, frozen food, meat, and mushrooms are Tamasic food. Intake of a diet in which opposite ingredients are mixed can also cause mental illness.