For this year’s mental health awareness week, the big focus is on stress – and perhaps more specifically, our inability to deal with it in our hectic schedules. A massive two thirds of us will experience mental health issues in our lifetime, and stress is often a key factor in developing more serious issues. Worrying stats to hear, sure. But surprising? Sadly, not. We know all too well how easy it is to ignore signs of stress, and simply carry on regardless.
So we got to thinking, what’s something most people do in their everyday life which acts a perfect opportunity to take 5 minutes away and de-stress? Your cup of tea of course!
We’re firm believers that a cup of tea can make you feel calmer, but we’ve been reading about combining mindfulness with your daily cuppa as a way to take that relaxing moment to the next level.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you simply focus your attention on the present moment. Actual meditation is a bit intimidating to some - It usually involves a combination of sitting still, closing your eyes, breathing exercises, etc. (we tried it once in the office right before lunch, and the chorus of hungry belly grumbles quickly put a stop to it) Mindfulness is a bit simpler and can be used during everyday activities like taking a walk, eating, or drinking a cup of tea. For University students at Cambridge in this study, mindfulness training was more effective than University counselling services in reducing stress during exams!
How to have a mindful cup of tea
So… could a cup of tea be the perfect opportunity to try out mindfulness?
The ritual of brewing a cuppa naturally involves many sensorial experiences to pay attention to and appreciate (we’re talking a single cuppa – not giant office tea round territory). Here are some simple ways you can focus in on the present while making your cuppa:
Boiling the water. What sounds is the water making? Watching the colours of the water change as the tea infuses. The warmth of the cup in your hands. Sip the tea rather than gulping it down in 2 seconds and try to suss out the complex flavours you’re tasting.
Selecting your tea in the first place also demonstrates conscious choice. Don’t just rely on your routine tea schedule (everyday brew in the morning, super fruit in the afternoon and chamomile before bed). Stop and think what else you could go for – dare we say chamomile in the morning!? It’s recognising these daily habits, and switching off autopilot which can then be used to help combat other issues – the way we deal with stress for instance!
Start off with just one of your daily cuppas - it’ll feel strange at first, but you’ll soon get in to the swing of things and start to apply the same technique to any daily activity. We’d love to hear if you give it a try – keep us updated on your mindful journey by tagging us @teapigs on social.
You can find our top stress busting teas here
Want to learn more about tea and wellness?
- replace coffee with matcha
- three ways to ditch the coffee
- 5 steps for a better night's sleep
- Shop our top calming teas here
- Check out our teas with benefits here