Modern life is hectic. The constant rush to get things done places heavy demands on us, demands which can upset the balance between our different life forces whilst disturbing our health; including our hormonal balance. That’s because the mind and the body are connected, according to Ayurvedic principles. When we follow these principles, we can achieve a comprehensive balance between mind and body, which will, in turn, keep illnesses at bay and improve mental health. Below are five principles of Ayurveda which when followed can improve your health and your overall wellbeing. Sleep restfully and plentifully Sleep is an essential healing mechanism for the body. As we sleep, we rest and recover from the day’s activities. The body goes to work rejuvenating itself and secreting hormones to strengthen our systems, mending damaged tissues. We should sleep between 7 and 8 hours each night so that the body has plenty of time to perform these duties. Refrain from being on a mobile phone in the hours leading up to bed to not interrupt the natural sleep pattern. Build your digestive power The body must be able to metabolise everything we feed it, from a nutritional, emotional and sensory perspective. We can build healthy tissues and get rid of waste more efficiently if our digestive energy — our Agni — is strong. If it is weak, then we don’t digest fully and this causes toxic residue — Ama — to build up, which disrupts energy, information and nourishment flow. Improve your digestive power by drinking hot water with ginger throughout the day. Try also using Ayurvedic herbs in cooking, such as Turmeric to detox and calm the digestive system. Regulate stress Hormone imbalances can trigger bouts of depression, a sign of Pitta imbalance. We need to feel good about ourselves and some solid skincare can help us do this whether we’re removing makeup with a comforting facial wash or applying a soothing night cream at the end of the day, or pampering our body with a pitta-influenced body wash. Regulate, manage and overcomes stress by making your mind, body and soul feel loved, refreshed and cared for. Another way to regulate stress is through meditation. Slow your breathing down and reduce your heart rate to lower levels of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol; these chemicals indicate that the body is experiencing stress. Meditation will help to cultivate your natural body/spirit balance. Exercise and listen to your body When we feel pain, our body lets us know. When we experience pleasure, our body lets us know. It’s sending a message of either comfort or discomfort and we should listen to it. To help regulate hormone levels, we should exercise each day, if possible, and then listen to the messages our body sends us. If we feel good after exercising, we can continue, but if the exercise causes unreasonable pain or discomfort, we must try something else. We could be exercising too hard or too much and overburdening our body, including our hormonal system. Eat a balanced diet It’s important to follow a diet in line with Ayurvedic theory and include each of the six tastes — bitter, sweet, pungent, salty, sour and astringent — in your meals. This balance in meals diminishes the urge to overeat, which, consequently, avoids placing unnecessary demands on the digestive system. We can also avoid overloading the digestive system but mindful eating. So eating slowly and appreciating the textures and flavours in each mouthful will leave us feeling fuller for longer. Ayurveda is the way forward to balance the body and the mind. Applying the principles above can help you to restore natural balance to your hormones so that you feel stronger, happier and at ease with yourself and everything around you. If you would like to learn more about Ayurveda, and its defining principles, you can do so here.