Woman drinking green tea

Find Calm With Green Tea

When asking people about their preferred ways to calm down, unwind and relax, a good cup of tea is bound to be an answer you will hear. But if you haven’t tried using tea as a way to calm down, you may wonder why making a cup of tea reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. Keep reading to find out why tea is calming and how green tea can actually alleviate stress and lower feelings of sadness and depression.

Why Tea is Calming
Making a proper cup of tea – boiling your water rather than using the microwave – is a slow and methodic process, which in and of itself helps your body wind down. Pulling your favorite mug from the cupboard, adding water to a tea kettle and waiting for water to boil are the steps required to make tea, and the routine of this process begins to become calming on its own. During times of high stress, your body craves a routine and to feel a sense of control, and all of the work that goes into making a cup of tea is a routine that will help slow your body and calm you down. In addition, you generally sit to enjoy a cup of tea rather than running around with your tea in hand and taking a quiet moment to yourself is naturally calming. You may also take your tea with your favorite book, while listening to your favorite album or watching a movie that makes you feel good – any of these things with your tea can become a routine that signals your body that it’s time to calm down.

How Green Tea Calms You
Green tea has a plethora of medical benefits from helping slow your rate of mental decline to fighting cancer-causing free radicals, but there is also an ingredient in green tea that specifically addresses depression and anxiety. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that drinking four or more cups of green tea daily was linked with significantly lowered rates of depression, anxiety and stress. The study used 1,058 elderly people who exhibited symptoms of depression. The group of participants who consumed four or more cups of green tea daily showed a 44 percent reduction in depression, anxiety and stress symptoms compared to those who drank one or less cups of green tea daily.

Researchers attribute this reduction of depression, anxiety and stress to the amino acid L-theanine. This amino acid stimulates the production of alpha waves, a type of brainwave that is seen when a person is relaxed. L-theanine also alters the levels of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, in the brain which increases feelings of calm and happiness.

To make the perfect cup of green tea, add your tea bag or loose-leaf tea into a mug then boil your water. When the water has reached a boil, pour over the green tea bag or leaves and allow to steep for two to three minutes before drinking. If you experience bouts of depression or anxiety, try having a few cups of green tea per day to increase happiness, reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.

Woman getting a spa treatment

Destress for Healthy Skin

There are so many factors that contribute, whether positively or negatively, to the health of your skin and stress is one of them. Stress levels continue to rise with a seemingly endless to-do list, commitments and responsibilities. In fact, stress and its impact on your skin has given rise to a new field of skincare known as “psychodermatology.” Karen Mallin, PsyD and an instructor in the departments of psychiatry, behavioral science and dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, predicts that psychodermatology is going to become increasingly popular over the next few years.

“Psychodermatology is a field that addresses the impact of an individual’s emotion as it relates to the skin. The mind and skin are connected on many levels. A lot of nerve endings are connected to the skin, which wraps around the organs, so as emotions are played out neurologically, they can be expressed through the skin just as stress can be expressed through gastrointestinal symptoms, increased anxiety or hypertension,” explains Mallin. Below, find a few ways to destress so both your brain and your skin can remain calm.

Woman exercising

Exercise
A quick way to relieve stress and boost your mood is to take a quick exercise break. Even a 10 minute walk around the block or spending a few minutes going up and down stairs will help you clear your head and minimize stress. Exercise also boosts your circulation, which increases blood flow to the skin. Try to take a walk each day during your lunch hour to fight stress and improve your skin.

Green tea

Drink Some Tea
Some people find tea to be not only a relaxing drink, but also an entirely relaxing experience. Green tea is an excellent drink for fighting stress and for keeping your skin healthy. The antioxidants in green tea provide protection from free radicals, which can cause additional harm to your skin.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy
Essential oils are another way that you can reduce stress levels while also providing benefits to your skin. Lavender essential oil promotes relaxation, but it can also stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and can fade the appearance of signs of aging like sun spots or scarring. Lemon essential oil is a stimulating scent that brings feelings of peace and positivity. Additionally, it is a natural astringent and antibacterial, meaning that it can be especially helpful if you struggle with breakouts or acne.

There are other ways that you can reduce stress such as meditation or engaging in a hobby or activity that you find particularly enjoyable. Taking some time out of every day to focus on eliminating stress not only has a positive impact on your mood, but it also significantly impacts the health of your skin.