What Ayurveda Has To Say About Suppressing Your Emotions
Generally, it is believed that if you suppress your emotions it becomes even stronger, therefore you should let the emotions flow instead of suppressing them. But Ayurveda believes otherwise. In fact, according to Ayurvedic beliefs and the functioning of the body and mind, certain emotions should be suppressed. According to the Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana
लोभशोकभयक्रोधमानवेगान् विधारयेत्। नैर्लज्ज्येातिरागाणामभिध्यायाश्च बुद्धिमान्||२७||
lobhaśokabhayakrodhamānavegān vidhārayet| nairlajjyerșyātirāgāņāmabhidhyāyāśca buddhimān
The verse means – A wise person should always suppress the mental urges related to Lobha – (Greed), Shoka (Grief), Bhaya (Fear), Krodha (Anger), Mana (Ego), Nairlajja (Shamelessness), Irshya (Jealousy), Atiraga (Excessive Desire), Abhidhyaya (Malice)
According to Ayurvedic beliefs, if we suppress the above-mentioned emotions, they do not get stronger. In fact, over time the body and mind automatically start ignoring these emotions. However, this concept of suppressing emotions is often misunderstood. For example, there is a difference between trying to control your grief and trying to overcome or suppress your grief.
The Ayurvedic Science functions on the force of balancing the Doshas. Ayurveda strongly believed that staying healthy does not mean not falling sick. A healthy person according to this ancient science is a person who is healthy not just by body but mind and soul as well. If we try to understand this belief of Ayurveda, suppressing your urge to cry or express grief is wrong. But suppressing the urge to not overcome your grief and stay in a depressed state is wrong.
The Ayurvedic experts explain that if you want to cry, it is better to cry it out instead of keeping the burden inside and suppressing it. But if you feel sad and depressed all the time and you recognize this, you should definitely suppress this emotion. You should indulge yourself in things that make you happy to divert your mind. Over time, your body and mind will understand that it has to ignore the feeling of sadness and depression and will focus on staying happy.
Similarly, controlling your greed, grief, fear, anger, ego, jealousy, bad intentions, and stopping being shameless is important.
- Controlling Greed:
If you learn to control the emotion of greed you will lead a happier life. Understanding the difference between need and want is important. Need is something that is important for basic survival and wants is something that even if ignored can be dealt with. Greed is wanting and often leads to doing wrong things and making the wrong decision to get that want.
- Controlling Grief:
As stated earlier, there is a difference between controlling the urge to cry and overcoming the state of being in depression. Venting out the emotion through weeping is good, but not fighting the need to come out of the depression is wrong. You should suppress the emotion of being in grief.
- Controlling Fear:
Overcoming the emotion of fear is the key to being happy. If you let fear overrule your mind, you will never be able to take any risk or succeed in life. Therefore, living in fear is wrong, in fact, suppressing the fear signals your mind to not be afraid of anything.
- Controlling Ego:
Ego is one of the basic traits of humans and controlling this emotion is the toughest mental exercise. But ego is also one of the biggest things that leads to several emotional complications in life. It affects relationships, overall mental health and also a positive attitude towards life. You should train your mind to suppress ego and ignore this emotion.
- Stop Being Shameless:
Being shameless is a result of being egoistic, ignorant, greedy and arrogant. Society being an integral part of Indian culture, it is important to behave and be in our limits. Being shameless creates an imbalance in society as well as your inner self.
- Control Jealousy:
According to Ayurveda, increased Vata Dosha leads to increased levels of jealousy. Jealousy, knowingly or unknowingly results in us comparing ourselves with others and may lead to depression. You should suppress your emotion of jealousy and instead of comparing yourself with others, you should compare yourself with your past self and work towards improvement.
- Controlling Bad Intentions:
In one of the chapters of Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana, while explaining the importance of controlling bad emotions it talks about the bad intentions of Duryodhan. Duryodhan said जानामि धर्मं न च मे प्रवृत्ति: जानाम्यधर्मं न च मे निवृत्ति:
jānāmi dharmam na ca me pravrtti: jānāmyadharmam na ca me nivrtti:
The verse means: “I know it is the right path to take, but I will not take it. I know what is wrong, I will not stop doing it.”
And as a result of this bad intention, he was killed by Bheema on the 18th day of the war of Mahabharata.
Knowingly doing wrong things is a result of the “gun or prakriti” you have.
- Rajas Gun of the mind influences: excessive greed, unrealistic ambitions, ego.
- Tamas Gun of the mind influences: ignorance, arrogance, high self-esteem, ruthlessness.
Ayurvedic has a deep rooted connection between the functioning of mind, body and soul, which affects our physical and mental health. And the entire Science revolves around maintaining a balance between the Doshas to lead a healthy life. Therefore, to lead a happy and peaceful life Ayurveda suggests suppressing the negative and wrong emotions so that your mind learns that these emotions should not be accepted and gradually starts ignoring them.