How the Doshas Respond to Stress
Stress is inevitable; however, it often gets a bad rap because it is correlated with overwhelming situations, challenges, loss, or any of the many hardships that can devastate our lives. But stress is necessary and has kept us alive—for centuries stress has helped Homo sapiens escape death, reproduce, and thrive as a species. For most of us living in a modern society, stress becomes a daily experience with the bombardment of sensory information coming at us in any given moment. Understanding and accepting that daily stress is inherent to life, Ayurveda teaches us to use preventative measures to lessen the toll it can take on one’s physical health. Each individual constitution will adapt to stress in its unique way, making the pathway to balance multilayered.
In Ayurveda, the doshas are used as roadmaps to track the ways that imbalances manifest for each individual. These roadmaps act as guides, alerting us to the signs and symptoms the body displays when affected by stress. And each dosha’s unique manifestation provides a different route to get to a destination. We can think of these doshic paths like the alternate routes found on a map. Over time we learn the roads to avoid, and the ones that provide easy, relaxed travel. After we’ve taken the same route numerous times, we begin to find shortcuts, interesting places to stop, and the best time of day to avoid traffic. We can make sure we have enough gas in our car to get us to our destination, and in the process, lessen the amount of stress getting there.