Managing Stress Affects Health, Memory, and Body Weight

Life is full of ups and downs, and some of them can be stressful. If we are lucky, stress is a short-term event. But often situations occur that keep us stressed for days, weeks, or months. This experience of non-stop stress can cause significant damage to our health, mind and emotions. Understanding the mechanisms of our stress response can help us minimize and control the damage.

The medical dictionary describes stress as “any physical, emotional, social, economic or other factor that requires a response to change.” The human body is brilliantly designed to react to stress in order to survive. It does so by activating the secretion of the hormone cortisol. This initiates a cascade of physiological responses.

Cortisol is meant to be a “quick fix”. It turns “off” many of our normal physiological mechanisms while it turns “on” many temporary mechanisms. It is the source of the “fight or flight” response. Ideally after an emergency situation has been resolved our metabolic functions go back to normal. If we are under constant stress, however, the long-term secretion of cortisol can compromise our health and permanently alter our metabolic process.

Some of the documented results of long-term stress include:

Results of Long-Term Stress

1. Weakened immune response leading to heightened vulnerability to infection

2. Memory loss: excess cortisol can overwhelm the hippocampus and actually cause atrophy. Studies of the elderly have indicated that those with elevated cortisol levels display significant memory loss resulting from hippocampus damage. Luckily the damage incurred is usually reversible.

3. An increase in abdominal fat. Researchers at Yale University found slender women who had high cortisol also had more abdominal fat. Abdominal, or visceral, fat is a key player in a variety of health problems Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

While we may not be able to eliminate the stress in our lives, we can take measures to give the body the relief from stress that it needs in order to stay healthy.


1. Decrease consumption of caffeine and alcohol, both of which impact cortisol levels

2. Go to bed by 10:00. Getting six hours or less over time can significantly increase cortisol levels. It takes a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep to give your body enough time to recover from the day’s stresses.

3. Practice a stress reduction technique.

The Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) has been found to lower cortisol levels. The lowering is greater in those who practice TM regularly. The longer people practice TM, the more pronounced is the effect.

TM was also found to decrease the time it took for the body return to normal functioning following stressful stimuli. This is significant because high cortisol levels can actually create a self-perpetuating loop by disrupting the delicate feedback balance that tells the brain to stop releasing cortisol.

Researchers concluded that the Transcendental Meditation technique gives the body a reprieve from experiencing stress, and as a result, the body care respond more normally to stress stimuli of short duration.

4. Schedule a week of Panchakarma treatments

Multiple studies have shown that massage therapy can lower cortisol levels, increase dopamine and serotonin (our happy, feel-good hormones), and lower excitatory hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine.

A week of luxurious in-residence treatments can provide a much-needed break from the day-to-day pressures at work and home.

More Stress-Busting Recommendations

Get more spinach in your diet. Spinach has magnesium, which help balance your body’s production of cortisol.
Eat more citrus fruits. Research has shown that citrus fruits like oranges and kiwis have high content of vitamin C, which help slow the production of cortisol.
Make sure you’re getting enough healthy omega-3 oils in your diet. These healthy fats not only inhibit inflammation, but also help lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.
Get some Holy Basil in your diet! This tasty herb is an adaptogen herb, which is a unique class of healing plants that help reduce the production of stress related hormones.
Research has shown that zinc helps inhibit the production of cortisol. Vegetarians can get zinc from cashews, pumpkin seeds, spinach and beans.
Good news! Dark chocolate has high levels of anti-oxidants that help decrease inflammation and slow the secretion of cortisol.


Purpose of life

Purpose of life: Essential quality to learn Ayurveda
आयु: कामायमानेन धर्मार्थ सुखसाधनम् । आयुर्वेदोपदेशेषु विधेय: परमादर: ॥
āyu: kāmāyamānena dharmārtha sukhasādhanam | āyurvedopadeśeṣu vidheya: paramādara: ||

To achieve the purpose of life, that is

Dharma – following the path of righteousness
Artha – earning money in a legal way
Kama – fulfilling our desire
Moksha – achieving Salvation,
To achieve this purpose of life, one should concentrate on having a long life. To learn the science of Ayurveda, which explains how to achieve this purpose, ‘obedience’ (Vidheya) is the most important quality.

Astanga ayurveda

Branches of Ayurveda

कायबालग्रहोर्ध्वाङ्ग शल्यदंष्ट्रा जरावृषान् || अष्टावङ्गानि तस्याहु: चिकित्सा येषु संश्रिता |
kāyabālagrahordhvāṅga śalyadaṃṣṭrā jarāvṛṣān || aṣṭāvaṅgāni tasyāhu: cikitsā yeṣu saṃśritā |

Kaya Chikitsa – General medicine
Bala Chikitsa – Paediatrics
Graha Chikitsa – Psychiatry
Urdhvanga Chikitsa – Diseases and treatment of Ear, Nose, Throat, Eyes and Head (neck and above region)
Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery
Damshrta Chikitsa – Toxicology
Jara Chikitsa – Geriatrics
Vrushya Chikitsa – Aphrodisiac therapy
These are the eight branches of Ayurveda.

Rutu sandhi

Ayurveda defines rutu sandhi as the transition between two seasons, which is generally taken to be the final 15 days of one season and the first 15 days of the next. The concept is similar to that of entering from the outside to inhabit the inside of a building. The door is like the exit from one season and entry into another. During that period, one should change the clothes, lifestyle and attitudes from the old season and enter afresh into the next.


Ayurveda n viral fever



– वायरल के इलाज में आयुर्वेद मौसम के मुताबिक खानपान पर जोर देता है।

– तुलसी की पत्तियों में कीटाणु मारने की क्षमता होती है। लिहाजा बदलते मौसम में सुबह खाली पेट दो-चार तुलसी की पत्तियां चबाएं।

– अदरक गले की खराश जल्दी ठीक करता है। इसे नमक के साथ ऐसे ही चूस सकते हैं।

– गिलोय, तुलसी की 8-9 पत्तियां, काली मिर्च के 4-5 दाने, दाल-चीनी 4-5, इतनी ही लौंग, वासा (अड़ूसा) की थोड़ी सी पत्तियां और अदरक या सौंठ मिलाकर काढ़ा बना लें। इसे तब तक उबालें, जब तक पानी आधा न रह जाए। छानकर नमक या चीनी मिलाकर गुनगुना पी लें। इसे दिन में दो-तीन बार पीने से आराम मिलता है। काढ़ा पीकर फौरन घर के बाहर न निकलें।

– वायरल बुखार में रात को सोते वक्त एक कप दूध में चुटकी भर हल्दी डालकर पिएं। गले में ज्यादा तकलीफ है तो संजीवनी वटी या मृत्युंजय रस की दो टैब्लेट भी इसके साथ लेने से आराम मिलता है।

– गले में इन्फेक्शन है तो सितोपलादि चूर्ण फायदेमंद है। इसे तीन ग्राम शहद में मिलाकर दिन में दो बार चाटें। खांसी में आराम मिलेगा। डायबीटीज के मरीज शहद की जगह अदरक या तुलसी का रस मिलाकर लें। वैसे गर्म पानी से भी इस चूर्ण को लेने से आराम मिल जाएगा।

– त्रिभुवन कीर्ति रस, मृत्युंजय रस या नारदीय लक्ष्मीविलास रस में से किसी एक की की दो-दो टैब्लेट, दिन में तीन बार गुनगुने पानी से लेने से गले को आराम मिलता है।

– टॉन्सिल्स व गले में दर्द है तो कांछनार गुग्गुलू वटी की दो-दो टैब्लेट सुबह-शाम गुनगुने पानी से लें।


Morning walk


Enjoy a walk with a friend, co-worker, or your dog. A daily moderate walk benefits the cardiovascular system, tones the muscles, and balances all three doshas. The rhythmic pace of walking also calms the mind. If safe and easy, walk outside and enjoy the extra health benefits, as the beauty of Nature nourishes the senses and contributes to overall well-being. There’s a saying in Ayurveda: “we metabolize our experiences.” These beautiful experiences are taken in through all our senses, and the mind then processes them into memories and biochemical markers, literally making them part of us. We “digest” our experiences, according to Ayurveda. In the case of a calming walk, the result is a balancing and positive influence in mind and body. –