Mental Health • You Are What You Digest
IN AYURVEDA you are not what you eat, but what you digest.
DIGESTION THROUGH THE 5 SENSES
The Agni or digestive fire is central to health, immunity and vitality. When we sleep at night not our agni not only digests and absorbs nutrients from the foods we eat, but it digests every single sensory experience from that day. Everything we energetically consumed through the five senses; every sight, touch, taste, smell and sound. The stimulation from our environment, nutrition, experiences, relationships and lifestyle choices, provide the building blocks for our overall wellbeing. Essentially forming our thoughts, behaviours, thinking patterns, the way we interact with ourselves and others. You are not only what you eat, but everything you digest in day-day life.
When your digestive fire is strong and burning with vigour, your are able to digest the foods you eat, life’s experiences and stress with stability. A strong digestion results in the full absorption of nutrients, deep and restorative sleep, proper elimination of waste, stable energy levels throughout the day, balanced mood and blood sugar levels, glowing skin, strong hair and nails, a positive attitude towards life and overall vigour and vitality. However, when the agni is depleted and the fire is weak, not only are you unable to digest and assimilate nutrients from food with full strength, but you are unable to digest other areas of your life such as emotions, stress, challenges and obstacles that may come your way.
LOW DIGESTIVE FIRE
A low agni causes you to feel mentally, physically and emotionally depleted leading onto a path of accumulation of toxins (Ama) within the physiological and psychological systems. Initial stages of toxin accumulation begin as discomforts and sensations in the mind-body, however if left unseen too they began to manifest further as imbalance and dis-ease.A low digestive fire and ama accumulation can begin to manifest as mental health imbalances through the doshas such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and panic attacks. A weak digestion can be caused by stress, trauma, undigested emotions, toxic relationships and environments, poor lifestyle choices, poor food choices, processed foods and pollutants in our environments, cosmetics and household products.
Stress management, care of the digestive system, and the ritual of daily detox is vital in Ayurveda for mental health and emotional stability. As a 360 degree holistic health system, that is prevention focused, the daily detoxification of all bodily senses and systems aids immunity and prevents illness manifesting. As we cleanse our physical system this is also reflected in our mental and emotional systems and vice versa. Become conscious of what you are digesting on a daily basis and if your choices and interactions are nurturing for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.