• Tea is Mother Nature’s medicine for reducing stress and anxiety
  • Certain herbs are proven to calm the body and mind
  • Create a tea ritual to maximize the calming benefits
We’ve all had one of those days where we literally feel like the world is against us.

They say all bad things come in threes but on these days it feels like there are three new challenges every hour on the hour.

Every time you look at the clock, expecting an hour to have passed, you see it’s only been a few minutes. Every conversation seems to drop yet another urgent task in your lap, a bit of negative feedback or some office gossip you’d rather not be dragged into.

Between all the deadlines, stupid pointless meetings and endless tasks, you barely have time to breathe.

By the time lunchtime comes around, all you wanna do is escape reality and get away from all the madness that’s going on.

But of course, that’s the exact opposite of what your day will allow - another day of having to eat lunch at your work while working.

Once the workday is finally over, you can’t wait to get home.

Then, as soon as you’re in the door, you’re faced with all the personal issues you’ve had to ignore while work has been occupying your mind.

Some days, it just feels like the odds are stacked against you and there’s no way out.

And it’s on these days that we find it so difficult to switch off and decompress - even when it comes to bed time.

Our anxieties follow us into our sleep time by either keeping us awake or plaguing our dreams, which of course sets us up to have a pretty shitty day the following day too.

There are some things you can do today that will help you manage work stress and unwind from all the chaos.

And we’ll be talking about one of the simple ways here - sipping on a humble cup of tea. 

Tea Is Mother Nature’s Herbal Medicine

Here in the US, tea has always played second fiddle to coffee. But, in much of the world, tea is the more popular hot beverage.

Because it’s not as popular as coffee, tea doesn’t get the same attention and is often underestimated for its healing qualities.

Teas are mostly made from herbs, which are Mother Nature’s medicine. In fact, many pharmaceuticals are actually made by trying to imitate herbs, or by using extracts from these herbs.

So, it’s really not surprising that there are a number of herbs and therefore teas that can act as a wonderful remedy for stress and anxiety.

But the calming effect of tea goes beyond the qualities of the specific herb.

This study by City University London found that the ritual of making tea and the physically warming effects of tea are also factors in its ability to calm us.

We’ve compiled a list of stress-busting teas to keep at your desk at work or in your cupboard at home so that the next time you’re having one of those days, you don’t have to think hard or go far to find relief.

The Best Teas For Anxiety & Stress Relief

All the teas below can be found in their raw herb form or in easy-to-use tea bags.

While most of us are used to thinking of tea only in tea bag form, it’s actually very easy to make fresh tea using the herbs in their raw form.

For example, instead of buying peppermint tea bags, you can just take a bunch of mint leaves and steep them in hot water. Easy!

Using raw herbs for your tea instead of tea bags usually gives you a more intense, more fresh flavor and it’s better for the environment as there is a lot less processing and packaging involved.

What’s great about this is that you can probably make teas out of ingredients you already have in the kitchen. Got some powdered turmeric on your spice rack? Then you have all you need for turmeric tea!

This doesn’t mean you should turn your nose up at tea bags though. They’re a great and convenient way to drink teas and they last for much longer than fresh herbs.

If you’re taking any medications, please check with your doctor before drinking any of the teas below, especially if taking medication for any mental health challenges.

Easy To Find Common Varieties

Many of these teas will be familiar to you but chances are you haven’t been turning to them for support with stress and anxiety.

These teas and their raw forms are relatively easy to find and, for the most part, won’t break the bank. You might even find them, forgotten about and unloved, at the back of your cupboard.

1. Black Tea

This is the most common type of tea out there. Chances are pretty good that your office break room has a box of Lipton tea bags. This is black tea.

Black tea is made from leaves of the shrub plant called camellia sinensis. These are the same leaves that also make oolong, green and white tea varieties. The difference is that black tea is just oxidized further to make it more flavorful.

Preliminary research has shown that drinking black tea can lower blood pressure.

2. Chamomile 

This wonderful daisy-like plant has long been used for its calming effect, and is often recommended as a pre-bedtime tea. To add to this ancient knowledge, scientific research has proven that chamomile can reduce stress and anxiety, and calm the body and mind.

This study from the University of Pennsylvania even found that it is an effective treatment for General Anxiety Disorder.

3. Turmeric 

Though it is not yet understood how, scientists have found that there is a link between depression and inflammation in the body.

This is likely responsible for turmeric or rather its active ingredient, curcumin being hailed as a remedy for depression.

Turmeric is a well-known anti-inflammatory herb as shown by many studies, and makes a wonderful tea.

If you’re yearning for something with more depth of flavor, or more reminiscent of your childhood bedtimes, golden milk is a perfect bedtime drink.

Instead of a tea, this drink is a milky, creamy cup of goodness - simply heat milk, turmeric and a dash of cinnamon and add honey to taste.

4. Green Tea

This tea is a well known health drink but what many people don’t know and/or forget is that it also contains caffeine.

As well as this being an issue for anyone who might suffer from anxiety or insomnia wanting to drink this tea before bed, it has also been shown that caffeine blocks some of the stress reducing qualities of the tea, as shown by this study from the University of Shizuoka.

The answer? Search for decaf or low caffeine versions of green tea instead of regular green tea.

5. Lavender

As well as reminding most people of their grandmas, lavender is one of those herbs that is said to heal pretty much anything. From insect bites to infections, lavender truly is a gift.

Multiple studies have found lavender to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia, and you’ll often find it as an ingredient in herbal remedies for these conditions.

For insomnia sufferers, you can increase the effects of the lavender tea by also dabbing a tiny bit of lavender oil just below your nose before you turn in for the night.

Unique Less Common Teas

These teas are a little less common but still readily available in most major metropolitan areas and most certainly on Amazon.

You might just have to visit a specialized health food store or find them online and, because they are less common, these herbs may also cost that little bit more - but it’s well worth the effort.

1. Ashwagandha

This ancient herb has been used in Ayurveda for centuries to reduce anxiety and increase energy.

Scientists are now catching up with the ancient healers, recognizing - and proving - the benefits of ashwagandha. This study from the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine stated that the herb “safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress.”

2. Valerian Root 

Long used as a herbal remedy for anxiety, valerian root is becoming more and more popular as a tea. It’s often referred to as nature’s Valium.

This study from the University of California found that valerian treats insomnia without producing any side effects, making it an excellent bedtime tea.

Valerian root tea has a more woodsy and earthy flavor than most other teas.

3. Passionflower

As well as having a delightful name, passionflower also has a calming effect on the body.

It has been proven to treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as shown in this study from the University of Alberta, and has a mild sedative effect making it perfect for calming stressed out nerves during the day or before bed.

As an added bonus, it has also been proven to reduce the intensity of menopausal hot flashes.

4. Catnip

While you might instantly associate catnip with cats, it also has some excellent benefits for us humans.

Using the leaves and flowers for a tea has a calming and drowsy effect on the body (the root has the opposite effect so make sure you don’t get them confused!).

Research has shown that catnip works on the nervous system, promoting calm, aiding sleep and even curing…‘insanity’. Sold!

5. Lemon Balm

This citrusy herb has long been used to lift the spirits - it was even added to wine back in the day for that extra boost.

As a tea, it’s a perfect remedy to beat the blues, reduce stress and promote a good night’s sleep.

This study from Swinburne University found that it can also improve cognitive function, so it can be a good mid-day stress reliever unlike some of the other sleep-inducing teas.

Lemon Balm is also a good addition to other calming teas such as valerian and lavender.

So now you know what teas to drink to calm your nerves, the next step is how to drink them.

Make Tea Time A Ritual To Maximize Its Benefits

We know you’re already crazy busy, so we’re not about to ask you to take an extra couple of hours just to drink a cup of tea.

But setting aside 10-15 minutes during the workday, when you first arrive home or just before you go to bed, you can use a tea time ritual to calm your nerves and decompress from the day.

It’s important to think of this as a key part of your self-care routine, rather than just a drink. It’s all about mindfulness and mindset.

A 5-minute walk can turn into a powerful meditation just by you having the intention of making it a meditative practice and being fully present while you take that walk.

It’s the same thing here.

Sure, you could just have a cup of tea when you’re feeling a bit stressed but creating a feeling of ritual and intention around it will maximize its benefits and add a feeling of luxury to an everyday act.

Step 1: Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb mode and leave it charging in a different room.

Step 2: Lay out all your ingredients for your tea break.

Tea bag or herbs
Your favorite mug
A book or your journal and pen

Step 3: Put the kettle on, or put your pot of water on the stove

Step 4: While you wait for the water to boil, close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes. Try doing some one-minute meditations.

Step 5: Place your fresh herb tea into your mug and pour hot water over your tea bag. Now, close your eyes and inhale the calming scent of your herbal remedy.

Step 6: Take your mug over to wherever you intend to enjoy your tea. Make sure it’s somewhere tidy and cozy. Settle in and take a moment to feel gratitude for your health, your surroundings, your ability to take even a few minutes out of your day to relax.

Step 7: Enjoy your tea while you read, journal or listen to a podcast or some relaxing music. Stay in your chill zone, free from distractions, until you’ve finished your tea.

This may seem extremely simple but think about what you usually do when you have a cup of tea.

It probably goes a little something like this...

Reply to messages while the water boils.

Stare at the kettle wondering how it still isn’t done yet.

Run into another room to quickly continue that chore you left undone and then run back into the kitchen to make the tea.

Carry the tea back to the room and continue whatever you were working on while tea cools down a bit.

Totally forget about the tea until it’s lukewarm and then, gulping the tea while scrolling through your phone and barely savoring its taste.

Go right back to whatever you were working on before.

Sound familiar?

With a little more intentionality and a little less haste, you can turn this mess of a break into a truly relaxing ritual.

Make Every Day A Beau-tea-full Day!

We’re not naive - we know that a cup of tea can’t solve all your problems.

On those days when the shit hits the fan, sitting in the middle of a shitstorm, clutching a mug of tea and saying to yourself “everything’s going to be juuuuust fine” obviously won’t solve much.

But on those days, there are the things we can control and the things we can’t.

Where anxiety creeps in is when we’ve done all we can on the things we can control but we’re still worrying about those we can’t.

In these situations, the only thing we can do to relieve our worries is work on lowering our cortisol levels, calming our bodies and minds and basically, chilling the fuck out.

What better way to do that with minimal effort, cost and preparation than your very own personal stress-reducing tea ceremony?

It’s time to press the pause button on life and give yourself some real downtime.

So, take a stroll to the office break room or your kitchen and start your calming ritual now. Your mind and body will thank you.

Feel Better,

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