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How a Simple Cup of Tea Can Change Your Life

How a Simple Cup of Tea Can Change Your Life

Traditional living is all the rage right now. Instagram and Facebook are full of ideas about how to make traditional living a part of life. Let’s simplify it. One does not need to own 20 acres of land or have a Jersey cow. One can be traditional anywhere and at any stage in life, whether single, married, or an empty nester.

Tenants of traditional living include slowing down and avoiding the rat race, embracing medicine from the past, and practicing hospitality. In a culture obsessed with quick fixes and a fast pace, even the simplest traditions can serve as a simple but powerful reminder to slow down: enter drinking a cup of tea.

Slowing Down

Tea may be the eye-opener we need to prioritize our schedules. If we cannot find time to make a cup of tea and drink it, we are too busy. A pastor once told his congregation that busy can be an acronym for Been Under Satan’s Yoke. Ouch. Are we so obsessed with busyness that we have no time for our families, making nutritious food, or good quality sleep?

It’s very trendy to be busy all the time. But we need rest because we are finite human beings. Making a cup of tea can be a good litmus test of our schedules. Don’t forget that part of the litmus test is drinking the tea. If you find you forget, then perhaps something has to give.

Savoring the Moment

With that theme of rest and slowing down, tea brings us back to the present moment. Drinking a cup of tea can be almost meditative, allowing us to experience the world and tea through all five senses. The whistle of the kettle, the smell and look of the tea leaves, the warmth of a cup, the steam rising, and the taste are all part of the experience. Savor and enjoy them!

In physiological terms, this is called grounding. It’s a technique sometimes used by post-traumatic stress disorder patients to help bring them out of panic attacks and back to the present. They generally start by naming things they see like a blue lamp, green grass, or a red ball.

We can take this same practice into our tea drinking, which can be helpful if anxiety is high. Name five things you see, then four things you can touch, then three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste (which is tea!). This practice activates the frontal lobe of the brain, leading to decreased anxiety and more logical thinking.

When panicking about a problem or worrying about scenarios we have no control over, we need to step back and rest to be able to problem solve and re-enter the present moment. And perhaps those cares and worries are not be as important as we originally thought.

Drinking to Health

There are even health benefits to drinking tea slowly and savoring the experience: One study found that slowly drinking green tea was very effective at delivering catechins (the most prevalent antioxidant in green tea) to the mouth, gums, and esophagus where it was absorbed.

Indeed, while capsules and tinctures are familiar and popular treatments, a neglected medicine is tea. As a water-based drink, it is incredibly safe for most individuals. In those seeking a return to the land and natural health, growing and harvesting herbs that support health and can be used in tea is a rewarding practice.

In herbalism, a nourishing herbal infusion (a fancy word for tea) is often considered equivalent to a multivitamin. Common plants such as nettle, burdock, clovers, violets, and red raspberry leaves pack a nutritional punch with water-soluble vitamins like iron and calcium.

Taken regularly, a nourishing herbal infusion may improve health from home, potentially preventing illness. Think that green or black tea has no health benefits? Think again! Green tea is healing to the gut lining and supports good gut bacteria. With its antioxidants, it is also thought to help prevent cancer. Black tea may also support heart health and prevent cancer!

Beyond nourishing infusions, herbal teas can be used during stressful times to decrease cortisol and prevent illness and insomnia. There are so many useful and helpful herbs that can be used in tea to help us all stay happy and healthy.

Rediscovering Hospitality

Finally, in this hectic world, our homes are often the only place where we can find haven or retreat. In making this haven and extending it with hospitality, tea is a great starting place—especially if hosting is a new arena for you or you feel you are not ready for hospitality. Owning a home is not a prerequisite; any space, whether a college dorm room or an apartment, can be welcoming to friends and family.

Tea gives us something to offer the weary traveler, grieving friend, or lonely visitor. It is warming and comforting, giving the drinker a sense of peace, and I have often found that when a person has something in their hands—or rather something to do with their hands—they are likely to open up and share any struggles they might be having or the joy they are experiencing.

It’s something so simple, yet powerful, to get us to slow down and tend to those around us.

Image credit: Pexels

This article is provided for educational and informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice.

6 comments
Annie Scaife
Annie Scaife
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6 Comments

  • Avatar
    Dacian
    May 20, 2024, 3:52 pm

    Ah, a soothing cuppa is a simple joy. My grown son and I still indulge in this lovely ritual from his childhood when he visits me–and he took me for a special fancy tea on Mother's Day (clotted cream and jam with it, indeed!)

    Wonderful commentary. Three cheers for tea!

    REPLY
    • Avatar
      Annie@Dacian
      May 21, 2024, 10:45 am

      What a great tradition! Thank you for reading’

      REPLY
  • Avatar
    Cadence McManimon
    May 20, 2024, 5:39 pm

    So true! Let's find joy in the small things like tea 🙂

    REPLY
  • Avatar
    Deborah Harvey
    May 20, 2024, 5:43 pm

    Thank you!
    Lovely essay.

    REPLY
  • Avatar
    Seth
    May 20, 2024, 6:59 pm

    I just made a cup of tea to drink because of this. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and relax!

    REPLY
  • Avatar
    EricR
    May 21, 2024, 5:30 am

    What a nice article and a welcome change from the ubiquitous opining on current events I see almost everywhere online.

    I enjoy green tea and find the preparation of it exactly as you describe. Of note is the waiting from place the tea in hot water to being able to take that first sip. It only takes a few minutes and I take it as an opportunity to stop. Just stop, sit, wait, breathe, and simply be.

    The tea awaits and beckons; the mind and body settle into stillness; the spirit is calmed are reassured that, for that moment, all is well.

    REPLY

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