People frequently drink caffeine-free herbal teas as a way to relax and/or reduce their anxiety level. Many herbal teas have potent medicinal properties, and for a number of herbs, these medicinal effects include relaxing and anti-anxiety effects. Some herbs have even been studied scientifically, and show promising evidence suggesting that they may be of use to treat anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder. However, this article is about another way that drinking herbal teas can promote relaxation and reduce your anxiety level: through promoting mindfulness Read more.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a concept central in Buddhism and a number of other spiritual practices. It involves bringing the focus and attention of the mind to the present moment. Mindfulness is often achieved or practiced through structured meditation exercises, which can be as simple as focusing on the breath, or can involve specific thoughts or practices, such as the repetition of a mantra. However, mindfulness does not always need to be practiced in the concept of a spiritual setting or a special, organized activity–it is something that can be brought to any activity. This article is about bringing mindfulness to a specific act, the act of drinking a cup of herbal tea.
Using and drinking herbal tea to promote a mindful state:
The first and most important part of having a mindful herbal tea session is to set aside time to prepare and drink your herbal tea without doing anything else. The goal is to think of and focus on nothing but the drink, to give yourself a break from the worries and thoughts that may be overwhelming you with anxiety.
Brew your tea, and let it steep. It will likely be too hot to drink. This is a good thing. If you are drinking the tea in a mug, you can place your hands on the warm mug and feel the warmth of the hot tea against your hands, through the mug. Focusing on physical sensations, the input from your senses, will place you in a more mindful state.
Now focus on how the tea smells. What does it smell like? Close your eyes…allow yourself to experience the aroma of the brewed cup of herbs before you even sip it. Breathe in and out slowly. Without even sipping the tea, you will already notice a marked change in your body and mind, as you have become more relaxed by bringing your attention to the current moment.
Now, sip your tea, once it is cool enough to drink. How does it smell now that you are drinking it? How does it taste? You are now mindfully savoring a cup of herbal tea. If you repeat this practice every day, you will find your anxiety level is greatly reduced over the long-run. Mindfulness has been demonstrated by scientific study to be an effective treatment for anxiety, and it has a myriad of benefits in terms of thinking and living your life.