Stress is an inevitable part of life. How we choose to work with, or against, the daily annoyances and to-do’s, however, is up to us.
Many of us have hobbies, such as a physical activity, or a craft that we go to in order to let go.
But sometimes that overwhelming feeling isn’t so easily dismissed.
While the mental/emotional element of stress seems obvious because there is an immediacy to it, the physical component dangerously exists as well. What’re we talking about? The chemical aspect, which often leads to both short- and long-term health issues.
Without intending to blame ourselves for the stress we allow into our lives, we at Buddha Teas do believe that experiencing stress is somewhat in our control. We further believe that one easy, delicious way to process stress is to consciously choose the right cup of tea.
The Effects of Stress on the Body
When you encounter a threat – whether real or perceived – your body automatically tries to deal with it. The brain signals the release of certain stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, which flood your body with energy. Other systems also come into play: the heart beats faster, lungs work harder, muscles tense, all preparing you to leap into action.
In short-term situations, this can work well. Your mind becomes more focused, and your body more capable. You are now physically more prepared to handle an emergency.
Yet not every situation benefits from increased physical prowess. Take making a dreaded phone call, for example, or fighting with a friend or family member. Instead of being prepared, you now are overflowing with energy, but have nowhere to release it.
Long-term stressors pose a real threat to your health. Instead of that short burst of adrenaline, your body fights to maintain a high-alert status. Soon, your body no longer has the energy to maintain it, and your health declines. You can’t sleep, digestive issues ensue, or perhaps headaches develop. Now, you can’t focus, and you’re regularly irritable. These are just a few of the physical effects linked to chronic stress.
What Can Herbs Do?
True, there is no cup of tea that can battle the stressful tasks we all face every day. True, tea can’t disappear your problems. However, tea has the potential to: 1. Help you control how you react to them; and 2. Provide you with a little pleasure while you tackle the icky stuff life throws your way.
Each of the six teas below works naturally with your body’s systems to achieve a greater sense of calm. If you’re open to bringing tea into your arsenal of stress-relief options, we know for sure you’ll want to examine the following …
Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen, which is a compound known to help balance the body’s systems.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Because of this, ashwagandha can lower the energy-draining effects that stress imposes, helping to reduce fatigue.
Chamomile Flower Tea
Chamomile may be the most well known herbal tea, but don’t mistake its global popularity for being mundane. For many people, chamomile should be the first tea they reach for when dealing with stress.
On top of its pleasant fruity flavor and aroma, chamomile tea contains flavonoids, which are known to relax. Reaching for a cup of this tea the moment you feel a stress attack approaching can reduce muscle tension, promote feelings of peace, and minimize your overall feelings of stress.
Containing a flavonoid called apigenin, chamomile tea is also well known for promoting a restful night’s sleep, which is essential when you’re under stress.
Holy Basil Tea
Also known as tulsi, this one is the second Indian tea on our list. Holy Basil is considered sacred in India, and has been an essential fixture in the Ayurvedic world. Among its purported health benefits are its ability to promote healthy cardiovascular and respiratory function, boost immune strength and – you guessed it – combat stress.
Early studies have shown that holy basil helps to limit the release of stress hormones, much like ashwagandha. It may also promote focus and mental clarity; combined with its immune-boosting properties, ashwagandha addresses three of the biggest issues of stress with energy, focus and immune strength.
This herbal tea may not be one of the most appealing taste-wise, but its natural relaxing properties may be an effective stress reliever. Hops tea has shown natural sedative properties, helping to relax tense muscles and calm the mind. It probably won’t be powerful enough to put you to sleep, but it could be just the thing you need to settle down after a stressful event.
The mildly sedative qualities of skullcap won’t put you to sleep, but a cup of Skullcap Tea can be a great way to wind down and release tension at the end of the day. Skullcap is known to calm both the muscles and the nerves, relaxing them and allowing you a break from the cycle of stress.
Calm Buddha Blend
When you can’t seem to decide on one tea, a blend may be your best option. Our Calm Buddha Blend combines the calming powers of kava kava root, chamomile and skullcap with other refreshing ingredients, including fragrant lavender, cool spearmint, passion flower, st. John’s wort and a dash of cinnamon. Balancing flavor with effectiveness, the Calm Buddha Blend is carefully crafted to give you the best relaxing experience. Give this one a try next time you have a hard day!
*This post was updated from the original, written in July 2016 by Haylee Meyers.