When asking people about their preferred ways to calm down, unwind and relax, a good cup of tea is bound to be an answer you will hear. But if you haven’t tried using tea as a way to calm down, you may wonder why making a cup of tea reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. Keep reading to find out why tea is calming and how green tea can actually alleviate stress and lower feelings of sadness and depression.
Why Tea is Calming
Making a proper cup of tea – boiling your water rather than using the microwave – is a slow and methodic process, which in and of itself helps your body wind down. Pulling your favorite mug from the cupboard, adding water to a tea kettle and waiting for water to boil are the steps required to make tea, and the routine of this process begins to become calming on its own. During times of high stress, your body craves a routine and to feel a sense of control, and all of the work that goes into making a cup of tea is a routine that will help slow your body and calm you down. In addition, you generally sit to enjoy a cup of tea rather than running around with your tea in hand and taking a quiet moment to yourself is naturally calming. You may also take your tea with your favorite book, while listening to your favorite album or watching a movie that makes you feel good – any of these things with your tea can become a routine that signals your body that it’s time to calm down.
How Green Tea Calms You
Green tea has a plethora of medical benefits from helping slow your rate of mental decline to fighting cancer-causing free radicals, but there is also an ingredient in green tea that specifically addresses depression and anxiety. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that drinking four or more cups of green tea daily was linked with significantly lowered rates of depression, anxiety and stress. The study used 1,058 elderly people who exhibited symptoms of depression. The group of participants who consumed four or more cups of green tea daily showed a 44 percent reduction in depression, anxiety and stress symptoms compared to those who drank one or less cups of green tea daily.
Researchers attribute this reduction of depression, anxiety and stress to the amino acid L-theanine. This amino acid stimulates the production of alpha waves, a type of brainwave that is seen when a person is relaxed. L-theanine also alters the levels of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, in the brain which increases feelings of calm and happiness.
To make the perfect cup of green tea, add your tea bag or loose-leaf tea into a mug then boil your water. When the water has reached a boil, pour over the green tea bag or leaves and allow to steep for two to three minutes before drinking. If you experience bouts of depression or anxiety, try having a few cups of green tea per day to increase happiness, reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.