We all know how anger, fear and hatred damage us internally – the impact of positive and negative emotions and attitudes on health has been analyzed and explored by modern medical science to expose surprising clinical results. For example, a study conducted in domestic arguments pointed out that couples that fight frequently damage not only their relationship, but also their health. Scientists at the University of California found that arguing with the spouse numbs the reflexes of the immune system.
The impact of depression and anxiety on heart disease and other physical illnesses is well-documented. The Archives of Internal Medicine recently published a study that shows people suffering from depression had more than 70% greater risk of suffering heart attacks and other cardiac problems. The profound nature of the mind-body link has only been superficially considered by modern medicine. However, it is already clear that mental health is an essential aspect of physical health.
Thus the basis of Ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle guidance is not only to balance the doshas, but also to increase sattvic temperament. This includes avoiding conflict, aggression, hostility and other negative emotions that adversely affect physical and mental health. Such a lifestyle is stress-resistant – it is serene, peaceful, patient and tolerant and avoids extremes of emotions. Sattvic people are positive, generous, kind, open, fair and forgiving. They look at life as a productive, learning experience.
The main factors involved relate to diet, lifestyle and emotions. In terms of diet, eat freshly prepared food, eat more plant-based foods and decrease the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, processed food and meat. Lifestyle should be balanced between work, family and social concerns with light exercise and regular routines to minimize stress. As for emotions, conflict aggression and hostility should be minimized and a positive and optimistic outlook adopted. Meditation is recommended to help you detach from and balance the emotions.
A sattvic attitude not only benefits the individual, but also contributes to a more peaceful and productive community. Starting on an individual level by adopting Ayurvedic principles in your lifestyle can work towards peace and harmony in your family and community. Regardless of your faith, ethnic or economic background, modifying your diet, and developing sattvic qualities may seem a small step but it is one in the right direction. The impact on your health, attitude and peace of mind will be remarkable.