I remember as a kid, there was a distant Uncle P whom most people didn’t like. Every time that he visited the family, the elders went on high alert. He never seemed pleased with anything. He constantly criticized those around him. He was perpetually intense and not fun to be around. As a lawyer, he twisted everyone’s words.
At every opportunity, he lashed out at people. If the kids were out playing cricket, and the ball hurt him, he would get livid. If there was delay in serving dinner, he’d get upset. If a group of teenagers were cackling, he’d make condescending remarks.
What Ayurveda says about getting angry
According to Ayurveda, the mind plays a critical role in our overall health. In fact, mental ama (toxins) and unresolved emotions can lead to disease in very concrete ways. It’s sad, but are you surprised that Uncle P eventually died of a heart attack?
Anger and irritability are among the most classic expressions of excess pitta dosha, which is made up of the elements fire and water. This Uncle P’s erratic moods, constant prickliness, and frequent outbursts were because of excess Pitta in the mano vaha srotas (the channel of the mind).
What Pitta looks like in the mind when you’re irritated
When Pitta is in balance, the individual is bright, curious, hungry for knowledge, content, courageous, enthusiastic, leader, and much more. When excess Pitta gets accumulated in the mano vaha srotas, it tends to cause heat accumulation. This can lead to irritability, criticism, judgmental behavior, fiery attitude, envy—you get the picture.
Diet & Lifestyle and their impact on doshic imbalance
I noticed that Uncle P ate extremely spicy and oily food. With his evening chai, he wanted a fried snack even though he often complained of heartburn. He ate his meals at erratic hours and without any compassion for the food for the person who had prepared the meal. There was a sour pickle or chutney in his plate, no matter the season.
Uncle P was both competitive and sarcastic by nature. As a lawyer, being argumentative was his second nature. Can you imagine how a man like him responded to his wife getting more promotions and doing better than him? He didn’t hurt his wife, but his words were curt enough that even as a kid, I picked up on their unpleasantness.
Like increases like
Ayurvedic philosophy tells us that like increases like. Pitta dosha is naturally light, hot, penetrating, oily, liquid, spreading, subtle, and clear. Through his diet, lifestyle, experiences, and attitude, Uncle P exposed himself to Pitta qualities that caused an imbalance in his mind, body, and spirit. Given that his career choice wasn’t exactly softening or in a healing environment, both his personal and professional relationships were tumultuous.
12 techniques to manage your anger
- What you feed yourself—food and words—impact how you think and behave. If your Pitta is aggravated, avoid oily, fried, spicy, sour, or acidic foods. Caffeine, alcohol, pickles, peppers, chilies, fermented foods, and citrus fruits.
- Favor energetically cooling foods and sweet (Basmati Rice), bitter (green leafy veggies), and astringent tastes (lentils).
- Minimize processed foods, refined sugars, and any stimulants.
- Create a routine and follow it diligently.
- Eat your meals on time.
- Get sufficient sleep.
- Avoid exposure to sun when it is at its peak.
- Make time for self-reflection.
- Move your body daily.
- Spend time in nature.
- Practice cooling yoga postures and pranayama.
- Don’t exercise with a competitive mindset.
A Pitta mind benefits from routine because it takes the pressure off the mind and the nervous system. Once these two relax, rigidity starts to lessen. Self-love and self-reflection can be grounding and stabilizing tools for an angry or Pitta mind. Also, make time for fun.
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Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained ayurvedic coach, contact me here.