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5 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance your Emotions.

By Dr Shaun Matthews

Ayurveda, the traditional system of healing in India, sees food as energy. Energy that can be used to keep your body, mind and emotions balanced.  It uses the Law of Opposites in addressing this question of balance. What does this mean in practice? Essentially it means balancing the qualities in your bodily experience with food having the opposite qualities. For example if you are feeling cold, warm food is advocated, if feeling heavy, light food is recommended. 

In this simple and yet remarkably effective process, you first need to tap into your bodily experience. You can do this by closing your eyes, connecting with your body through breathing consciously, and then asking yourself the question, “How do I feel? Physically? Emotionally? Mentally?” You then wait and see what answer, if any, comes to you. 

  1. If feeling cold, dry, perhaps a little ‘spacey’ or anxious; you would favour food that is warming, cooked, mildly spiced and moist. Such as soups, dahls and casseroles with adequate amounts of good quality salt. This will help to keep you warm and grounded.

  2. If feeling hot and dry, perhaps irritated or frustrated; you would favour food that is cold in temperature, cooling in nature and moist. Such as salads, fresh juice blends, cold soups or quiches. Foods that keep you calm and cool.

  3. If feeling cold and heavy, perhaps lethargic, “stuck” or gloomy; you would favour foods that are warming, well spiced, dry and light. Such as stir fries and dry curries. Foods that are stimulating in nature.

  4. If feeling depleted physically and emotionally; favour light, easy to digest foods such as soups, especially made with root vegetables and spiced with digestive spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and curry leaf. Foods that will help you feel well nourished.

  5. If feeling like you are on an emotional roller-coaster; favour a light diet and consider missing a meal and replacing it with a herbal tea or light soup. Eat a more substantial meal when feeling less emotionally provoked. Sucking on a few cardamom seeds or having a warming herbal tea such ginger can often be helpful. You can lighten the load on your digestion in these ways.

And as the saying goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” So do experiment with some of these suggestions and see for yourself if they work, or not. Your subjective experience is the gold standard from the point of view of Ayurveda, when it comes to assessing the effects of food on your body, mind and emotions.



About Dr Shaun Matthews

Dr Shaun Matthews is a medical doctor, Ayurveda and Yoga therapist in practice at Bondi Road Doctors. He is the founder and coordinator of the two year Certificate IV course in Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation at Nature Care College.

Shaun has also trained in somatic or body-orientated psychotherapy, which like Ayurveda and Yoga, acknowledges the inherent wisdom of the human body-mind. He finds this combination of approaches to be complementary in nature and extremely effective in managing all kinds of chronic disease.