Freelance contribution by Indiana Lee

Tea has a long and profound history that is inextricably tied to ritual, spirituality, and medicinal healing. Hundreds of years before Western medicine proclaimed that drinking tea had hundreds of benefits, many Eastern cultures had enthusiastically adopted tea into their daily routines. For many, drinking tea is more than just an enjoyable beverage; it’s a way of living and being. 

Our routines and rituals give us much-needed balance in life. They make us feel more secure in ourselves and subconsciously more able to take on some of life’s big challenges. For some it is waking up in the morning and enjoying a hot drink as the sun rises, for others important routines take the form of winding down before bed and relaxing before going to sleep.

Woman from the profile holding mug and staring into it contemplatively

Every day, millions of people embrace tea as a means of anchoring themselves and finding a moment of calm in their day. Others turn to tea as a means of supporting a healthier lifestyle or working to meet related health goals. Still others enjoy it as an alternative to coffee or other beverages. 

The right tea ritual for you is the one that gives you joy and makes you feel as though you can take on life.

A Mindfulness Ritual 

The development of a mindfulness ritual is commonly associated with tea. It can take many different forms. For instance, some find great solace and time for reflection while they have their morning cup of tea in the quiet hours of dawn. Others find this brief period of mindfulness on an afternoon tea break or a small cup before bed. 

The practice of mindfulness — focusing your entire awareness on the present moment and how you feel within it — has many, many benefits. Experts suggest that mindfulness practice can be linked to real bodily changes such as decreased symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Likewise, mindfulness practice has been linked to better memory and overall cognitive function.  

Many tea enthusiasts suggest green or herbal teas for those that are looking to develop a tea-based meditation ritual. These teas typically contain less caffeine which can help with finding the right balance of stillness and alertness. Green and herbal teas contain higher levels of compounds that induce calm in the body without causing drowsiness.

Replacing Other Beverages in Your Routine

Other people may turn to tea as a means of reducing the intake of other beverages. Numerous tea drinkers switched from coffee because of its high levels of caffeine. Most teas contain some level of natural caffeine, but at much lower levels than coffee, which can help manage a caffeine addiction. Black teas are a great place to start if you are looking to replace your coffee routine with tea. 

Replacing soda with tea is one big favor that you can do for yourself. Though tea kicks the sugar — which can be a profoundly difficult addiction to break — there are a lot of different flavors, which can help. Licorice tea could be a good alternative because it is generally sweeter. Trying a bunch of different teas and deciding which is the right one for you is a good place to start. 

For some, tea can even be an alternative to drinking alcohol. To be clear, there are many benefits to kicking significant alcohol consumption and if you believe you have an addiction it is worth seeking professional help. However, tea can be an alternative beverage that helps manage impulses or the need to have a drink in hand.

Building a Healthier Lifestyle

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons many people begin a ritual of drinking tea is because they have heard of the many health benefits of doing so. Studies have indicated over and over that regular consumption of tea may help manage some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, certain teas can lower blood pressure, encourage weight loss, and bring greater mental acuity. 

Starting a routine of drinking tea for your health doesn’t have to be complex. Experts suggest 3-5 cups of green tea daily is optimal for health benefits, but this doesn’t mean that you have to start by drinking that much. Even starting with 1 cup of tea daily will make a positive difference. 

What really matters is drinking the amount and style of tea that works best for you. If black tea has too much caffeine for you then don’t drink it. Most people seem to find a style of tea that suits their mood and their routine and stick with it – don’t be afraid to try different teas until you find the one (or handful) that works best for you and your goals.

Tea rituals are a powerful part of our lives and have been for literally thousands of years. Whether your ritual is designed for meditation, breaking a habit, building a healthier lifestyle, or anything else, all tea drinkers are united in their love of the beverage.

Photo “selective focus photography of woman holding cup” is copyright under Free Use No-Attribution License on Pixabay to the photographer “Foundry” and is being posted unaltered (source)