*raise your hands if you're a vata*
*raise your hands if you get anxious from time to time*
If you have your hand up, this is lesson is for you! We live in a vata-increasing world and often struggle to calm our racing or anxious mind. If you feel a bit anxious, here are 5 things to avoid (and I've included the fixes too).
Note: Vata is the energy of movement in our bodies and minds. So when we feel a racing or anxious mind, we want to decrease the energy of vata in our bodies and minds.
Yes, overwhelm, it means that vata-type people like to accept all the projects from all the people all the time, they love to say yes, they love to be creative, they love to think they can do it all, and they quickly get overwhelmed because...they can't do it all! They pile more on their plate which creates more worry and anxiety.
The fix for overwhelm: Choose three things for your to-do list, no more. That's it.
Chop everything off. If you're looking at your list and you're like, “Really? That's all I have to do?”, that's perfect. So trim your list down to three things, and stick to those.
Vatas love to fly by the seat of their pants, they like spontaneity, they like to keep their options open. But if you're a vata who's already anxious, spontaneity is one of the ways that you can actually create more anxiety, because you don't have a solid plan. There's no structure, no reliability. And that can make us feel anxious!
The fix for indecision: My advice is, say yes or no right away. Just make a choice. And based on #1 (overwhelm) one you might want to start saying "No" as your default rather than "Yes." ;)
Make the choice, knowing that it's the best decision you are making at this moment in time, and move on.
That way you don't have to expend all this mental energy wondering what the best choice is, or if you'll make the best choice, or allowing your mind to run down the path of all the what-if scenarios. It takes a lot of energy to be indecisive!
To keep your mind calm and anxiety level low, just make the right choice, knowing that it's the best decision you could make today. And all will be well.
In writing this, I have a space heater sitting right here because I'm freezing all the time. In the corporate world I had a space heater below my desk. We sometimes just need that warmth and that groundedness, especially for vatas, so that we can focus! If we don't focus we don't get our work done and that causes...anxiety.
The fix for cold: A nice steam shower or a bath at the end of the day is helpful. Or, boost your internal heat with exercise or yoga! Any thing that warms you up will lower that level of anxiety because your mind will be calmed through the sense of touch (warmth).
Aaaand, I'm going to apologize, I'm sorry. Yes, coffee. If you're drinking coffee and you tend to feel anxious, maybe try not doing that.
I know, I know, I know how much you love coffee, I do too. But you know what? When I drank coffee (daily, for years), it put me on a moody rollercoaster, gave me headaches and created lots of anxiety. And the whole time I thought that was just how I was :/
So all I'm saying is, if you're already having a problem with anxiety it might be a place to start. Try swapping coffee for black or green tea or chai for two weeks and see if you feel better. If you do, that might be one of the causative factors of your anxiety and your worry.
Lack of sleep, disrupted sleep, or low quality sleep all increase vata — and anxiety goes along with it.
So if you're not sleeping well, here are some sleep tips based on Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, like increases like. So if we spend our days going and going and going, and we don't have proper restoration and stillness at night, our mind is going to do the same thing (go, go, go) And that's essentially where that anxiety comes from, is because our mind is constantly racing, it's constantly going. We don't have a settled or grounded mind — and sleep can help that.
To recap, the five things that give vatas anxiety are:
1) overwhelm, so trim that down
2) indecision, so make one
3) cold, so warm it up
4) coffee, maybe no bueno, try it out
5) lack of sleep, so get some and regulate your sleep
If this helped you today, share this with your friends and gimme a comment below! I always love to hear from you, and as always we'll keep bringing Ayurveda to life.