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Stress, Anxiety, Sleep Deprivation, and Inflammation

Updated: Apr 19

Learn about the root cause of inflammation and the role of Vata and Pitta doshas. According to Harvard Medical School, "Sleep deprivation is associated with markers of inflammation."

Can Stress, Anxiety and Sleep Deprivation Cause Inflammation? image stressed woman

Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.

Stress, Anxiety, Sleep Deprivation, and Inflammation

If chronic inflammation is a problem for you, you'll want to identify the root cause of the issue. Can stress and anxiety cause inflammation? While not all inflammation is caused by anxiety, studies show that stress and anxiety are linked.

According to Ayurveda, ama, considered unassimilated debris or toxins, gunk up the subtle and gross channels of the body and create inflammation. A primary way to reduce inflammation is to reduce ama through a comprehensive Ayurvedic consultation that includes gentle cleansing, or detoxing.

The mind and the body are linked, and when you're struggling with worries or tension, it can have an impact on your physical well-being. When you're able to relieve your stress and bring your mind and body into balance, those symptoms will subside.

Signs of Pitta Inflammation In the Body

There are five key signs of inflammation, which makes inflammation easy to detect. While you may not experience all five symptoms, it's likely that you'll experience some of these issues during an inflammation flare-up.

Redness: One of the most common signs of inflammation is redness. If you experience chronic redness, you may be dealing with chronic inflammation as well.

Swelling : When part of your body is inflamed, your body will try to protect itself. This can increase blood flow at the site of the inflammation, which can lead to swelling.

Pain: Pain is one of the ways your body communicates when you. When you feel aches and pains in an area, it's a sign that something is wrong with that part of your body. Because of this, pain can be linked to inflammation.

Heat: When your skin is inflamed, it may be hot to the touch. Like swelling, this can occur because there is an increase in blood flow near the skin's surface.

Loss of Function: If you're dealing with severe inflammation, you may no longer be able to freely move that part of your body. Inflammation can reduce your range of motion. Severe swelling can also make it difficult to move.

Pitta dosha is the fire element that manifests as inflammation, but often, Vata dosha is the wind, the movement, that fans that flame. Both Vata and Pitta are at mostly likely at play and both need to be brought back into balance.

"Think of if it this way, fire naturally has a spreading action. What happens when wind, or Vata, blows on fire? That fire grows. Vata dosha pushes Pitta dosha and it takes a skilled Certified Ayurvedic Practitioners to help clients bring both doshas into balances." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

Can Stress, Anxiety and Sleep Deprivation Cause Inflammation? image stressed woman biting nails

Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Inflammation?

Researchers believe that stress, anxiety, and inflammation are linked. When you're feeling stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. It may also release adrenaline, which can cause your heart rate to rise. This can trigger the body's flight or fight response.

The flight fight response happens fast and it is not something we need to practice. The rest, relax, restore side of our nervous system does require practice and the more we practice (use our free guided practices daily), the stronger and more natural that relaxation response becomes. In six to twelve months of consistent daily practice, we can develop this relaxation as our new baseline. "Every client that comes to Saumya Ayurveda is concerned about their stress level and they want to feel calmer. Breathing diaphragmatically and the guided relaxation practices help us to retrain our responses to stress and soothe and rejuvenate the nervous system, mind and whole being.

Breath is the link between body and mind. It sounds too simple to be true, yet client after client, discovers their energy and sleep improves as their anxiety decreases. Simple, yes, and simple is significant." -Veena

Can Stress, Anxiety and Sleep Deprivation Cause Inflammation? image of graphic showing chronic inflammation and related conditions

When your body senses a threat, inflammation can occur. It's important to find a way to manage your stress so that it doesn't have an adverse effect on your body. There's no way to completely avoid stress, but there are steps you can take that will reduce the stress in your life.

Ayurveda Tips for Reducing Pitta

  1. Increase cooling foods such as lime, ghee, coconut water, coconut oil, cilatro, cucumber, corriander, fennel, bitter greens (dandelion greens, spinach, kale), mango, and aloe vera.

  2. Avoid heating foods such as coffee (yes, decaf too), hot spicy foods, fermented foods, fried foods, refined sugar, processed foods, alcohol,

  3. Perform Ayurveda massage (abhyanga) daily with Pitta balancing oils. Abhyanga Massage - How to Do Ayurveda Self-Massage at Home

  4. Reduce stress using Saumya Ayurveda's 3 Step Process it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  5. How to Reduce Pitta and Body Heat with Ayurveda and Keep Your Cool

  6. Pitta Dosha Guide

PItta Reducing Recipes

Cooling foods that turn your food into medicine.

rose kheer Ayurveda recipe

List of Cooling Ayurvedic Foods

  • Water-Rich Foods (Cucumber, asparagus, squash, zucchini, celery, etc.)

  • Beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cilantro, green beans, okra, parsnip, peas, potatoes, and rutabaga

  • Bitter greens (Dandelion greens, kale, spinach, chard, and beet greens. Avoid mustard greens)

  • Juicy Fruits (Mango, Papaya, Grapes, etc.)

  • Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Cherries, etc.)

  • Melon (Watermelon, Muskmelon, Cantaloupe)

  • Whole Grains (Rice, Quinoa, Oats, etc.)

  • Dairy (milk, butter, ghee)

  • Coconut

  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)

  • Moong dal (sprouted whole green moong makes a great cooling snack, or yellow moong dal)

  • Flax seed (cooling and helps relieve constipation)

  • Cooling Herbs (Dill, Cilantro, Corrainder, Rose)

coconut mango smoothie

List of Cooling Ayurvedic Recipes

cucumber lime water

List of Cooling Ayurvedic Drinks

Enjoy Saumya Ayurveda's Online Pitta Recipe Box

Saumya Ayurveda's 3 steps for transforming your daily life with an image of a woman meditating by a lake

There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 Step Meditation Process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.

"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."

- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.

2. Daily Guided Practices: 11 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as anchors of your daily Ayurveda routine.

"Choose a couple of practices from the routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

“Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”

-Molly Rossini, Minnesota

Stress, Anxiety, Sleep Deprivation, and Inflammation has its root in Vata and Pitta imbalances.

desktop with notepad saying client testimonials

"I have seen Veena at Saumya Ayurveda for several years--in fact, my family sees her. She has helped me with blood pressure and cholesterol management as well as helping me reduce overall inflammation. I sleep better, my stress has reduced, and my energy has improved.

During a period of high stress, I was waking with a racing heart and the herbal and lifestyle recommendations reversed it.

I recommend Veena--she will stick by your side and be there when you need her. She is responsive, comprehensive and effective."

- Bryan Stenlund, Licensed Psychologist, Northern Minnesota

"I started working with Veena at a time when I was at the end of my tether, juggling my professional and personal aspirations. She responded to my desperate call and went out of her way to find ways to work things into my busy schedule.

I was encouraged to pursue a steady approach to create lasting changes. Now when I see my patients, I see so many sufferings from similar symptoms related to diet and stress. I have routed several of my patients to Saumya Ayurveda. Veena is a blessing to have such a rich resource."

- Gauri Nagargoje, M.D., Minnesota

"Saumya Ayurveda has help me to become reborn. With the help of Veena, I have become more

than ADHD. My entire body responds better to stress and relaxation.

Being a molecular scientist, it was difficult to grasp the simplistic complexity of Ayurveda, but the changes I experienced with Veena allowed me, not only a general understanding of health, but sparked a lifelong journey to use my knowledge to advance the acceptance of Ayurveda as a needed modality of health. This is a feat, considering I had difficulty focusing and digestive issues only four short years ago.

Veena’s evaluation and treatment is so individualized that it was easy to adjust my life which spawned health. Veena is a skilled healer with a solution to fit all."

-Jessica B., Naturopath, Molecular Scientist, Medical School Student, New York City

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Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way

We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.

Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.

Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.

Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.

Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.

Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories.

Can Stress, Anxiety and Sleep Deprivation Cause Inflammation? image Veena Saumya Ayurveda

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.


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