Āyurveda and Yoga understand that the physical body houses and supports the mind, therefore our physical constitution or dosha influences our mental characteristics. But over and above our physical nature, three great cosmic qualities—sattva, rajas, and tamas—are recognised as the universal factors that motivate all mental functions.
Sattva is considered the mind’s original nature—an intelligent, harmonious state, that naturally dominates at birth. But as life proceeds, through worldly interactions, the foods we eat, and the circumstances and company we keep, more and more rajas (mental activity, dynamism and expression) and tamas (dullness, inertia and material attachments) are taken on, and the mind’s sattvic nature becomes obscured. In the mind, too much rajas and/or tamas distort our thoughts and emotions. The Charaka Samhitā affirms the “Pathogenic factors in the body are vāta, pitta and kapha, while those in the mind are rajas and tamas.” [Sutrasthana1:57]
To (re)balance and restore harmony to the mind, Vedic psychology doesn't delve into the particulars of our thoughts and emotions, and task the mind with working itself out. Rather, Vedic psychology offers a practical, experiential approach. Its prime therapeutic strategies to enhance mental peace, happiness and integration include:
Other approaches I use to balance, clear and calm the mind include: Yoga practices; physical activity; relaxation practices; improving sleep as per individual constitution; establishing a daily routine; herbal therapies; cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); and self-enquiry (vichara)—asking “who am I?”—in order to move beyond the ego or "identity mind" and contact our deeper nature.