A very similar model arises from dominant elements in the physiology. A dominant element leads to a tendency to imbalance, known in Ayurveda as the doshas.
The doshas and primary element and quality are:
Vata – Air, movement
Pitta – Fire, digestion (of food & experiences)
Kapha – Earth, stability
Imbalanced doshas can relate to a trend to tamas guna, whereas restoring balance cultures sattva guna. Most of us have a blend of tendencies that can dominate at different times.
Imbalance of the various doshas will cause certain types of health issues, prominent emotions, and so forth. Ayurveda offers ways to restore balance, health, and evenness.
Recently, I read an interesting article by Linda Egenes on the way different doshas respond to stress. If the stress continues, the imbalance increases, eventually leading to that style of systemic health issue. Restoring systemic balance is where Ayurveda shines.
Imbalance of vata leads to worry and anxiety, and over-activity of the mind.
Ayurveda recommends calming foods, lifestyle, and herbs to restore balance.
Imbalance of pitta can lead to anger, frustration, and exasperation. Emotions become more intense.
Ayurveda recommends cooling foods, lifestyle, and herbs, although these may not be what you think. Cooling foods don’t necessarily cool the mouth but do have that effect on the body.
Kapha is steady but when imbalanced, can lead to eating to digest stress or withdrawing. This can lead to lethargy, sadness, rigidity, and depression.
Distinct from the other types, Ayurveda recommends stimulating foods and herbs for kapha, and an active lifestyle.
As Linda said “it’s important to remind yourself that things have a way of working out. The more you can focus on the upside, the better you can create something positive out of these extraordinary times.”