We all know tea is a delicious drink that can be had at any time of the day. Gone are the days when our only option was milk or no milk, tea now comes in such a range of flavours and blends that there is something to suit every palette.
The health benefits of drinking tea range from improving gut health to improving focus and concentration; and health benefits vary depending on which blend or infusion you are drinking.
The psychological benefits of tea however, have commonalities regardless of whether you are drinking a herbal blend or a simple Earl Grey. These psychological benefits can have a huge impact on overall wellbeing and will be explored in more detail below.
Research has shown that sipping a hot drink during conversation increases confidence and honesty amongst the conversation participants. This could explain why we as a nation love sitting down to a cup of hot tea with friends; the benefits of having the tea could allow us to have more open and honest conversations.
Studies have also shown drinking a hot drink leads us to feeling more trusting towards others. Participants demonstrate increased perceived trustworthiness towards others whilst drinking their mug of tea, which is likely lead to more interactions with others. We know from many studies of psychology that human interactions and friendships are a key factor in the prevention of depression and other mental health disorders, so tea could be a crucial factor in boosting our friendships.
Any process of activity can become a mindfulness practice when you slow your movements down, live in the moment of each action and take thought over the process.
Researchers have found that drinking tea lowers cortisol levels, which is our stress hormone. Evidence of longer term health benefits are also now emerging, with many teas reducing the risk of developing depression and dementia.