“Is that an ice cream parlour?”
And your heart says, “Come on, let’s eat some!”
Has this ever happened to you?
Or have you experienced anxiety before appearing in an exam?
Everyone around has experienced feelings of love towards something, need, fear, happiness, grief, and many more. Life is filled with emotions in its every moment, and a person is complete and synced with emotions. Ayurveda suggests that a person is a
holistic combination of physical, mental, and emotional attributes. If one is going through physical illness (suppose), then it won’t be enough to cure illness physically, rather, the ayurvedic approach is to cure the entire body including physical, mental, and emotional
Ayurveda is based on the principle of Tridosha and its functioning. The entire body is controlled by Tridoshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Dosha. If the harmony of Tridoshas is not maintained, it invites diseases. Every individual has a different constitution for these
Doshas thus have a different personality.
Doshas not only impact the physical body but also the mind and emotions. According to Ayurveda, the result of anything undigested is Ama (toxins). As undigested food can cause ama, undigested emotions cause emotional Ama. The result of this ama is feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, and sorrow. While, when feelings are well digested, it results in feelings of happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and accomplishment.
Agni (the digestive fire) is responsible for the digestion of food and takes part in metabolism in every cell of the body. The emotions are processed by the functioning of sadhana Pitta (subdosha of Pitta) which is associated with the heart. Thus, Agni associated with
sadhaka Pitta, is responsible for processing emotions. It influences neurohormones which are the hormones produced and released by neurons. The neurohormones which are located in the heart send signals to the brain and register bad mood or happiness,
which depends on how the person processes emotions.
Mixed emotions or any emotions are caused by hormones that are secreted by endocrine glands. Hormones are chemical messengers which are secreted into the blood and are carried to other organs and tissues in the body to serve their role. Almost
every function within the body is governed by hormones. For example, the thyroid hormone regulates metabolism in the body; stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol affect insulin and the metabolic process.
When hormones are imbalanced, it leads to the accumulation of stressors which cause gut imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, chronic stress, and environmental toxins. And common symptoms of hormonal imbalance are loss of weight, cravings for carbs,
bloating, difficulty in sleeping, constipation, acne, headaches, mood swings, etc. And two of the most overrated reasons for imbalance is caused by stress and the accumulation of toxins (Ama) in the body.
According to classical medicine, emotions are processed by the interaction of the limbic system, autonomic nervous system, and reticular nervous system.
● The categorizing of emotional experiences – pleasant or unpleasant mental states are done by the limbic system. During this, neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin are released, which are important components of the limbic system.
● The autonomic nervous system along with the hypothalamus, functions to regulate a pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and arousal as a response to emotional cues.
● The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for emergency actions by controlling the glands within the endocrine system. Whilst, the parasympathetic nervous system stores energy when the body is relaxed, for future use.
● The reticular activating system first wakes the cortex and then maintains wakefulness so that the emotional information can be interpreted properly. From the above context, it is seen that the major role is played by neurons that are used to transmit signals from one part to another. Emotions are also activated in one part of the brain and then transferred. If these channels are clear, the information transfer is done properly.
During stress, or indigestion, the Ama is accumulated in the body which blocks these channels of transmission, and causes emotional Ama. This is an accumulation of emotions that come up as responses to anger, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Hence, Ayurveda focuses on the removal of Ama as it is the main cause of any unusual activity within the body, or in the form of responses by individuals. Moreover, emotions are also the chemical processes that are brought in by hormones secreted by endocrine glands. Thus, emotions are well-defined only in terms of the level of hormones in the body.