If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.
- William Ewart -
There’s something comforting about a cup of tea. Every time I pick up a warm cup of my favourite peppermint tea, I experience a soothing moment of serenity.
Think back to your last cup of tea. How did it make you feel even for a brief moment? Maybe you can hardly remember. We drink tea on the go, when sending out emails, and juggling a million other things that sometimes we even forget and let it go cold.
If drinking tea is something that you do everyday, consider making it into a little ritual to help you pause and gain a different perspective.
What is a Ritual?
If the word "ritual" makes you think of people in hooded robes chanting around a campfire in the forest, we don’t blame you. It can come with that connotation.
And yet, the kind of rituals we're talking about here don't require cloaks or campfires or ceremonial daggers. We're talking about the power of small, everyday acts that hold some emotional significance for you.
And therein lies the crux of how we define a ritual. At first a ritual might look deceptively similar to a habit. But unlike a habit, which we do automatically and without thinking, a ritual is done with intention. A ritual is simply a way of imbuing meaning into your life.
What if taking a shower became an act of self-care instead of something you just do? What if saying goodbye to your partner and kids in the morning became an expression of gratitude and love instead of an ordinary routine? Ponder that.
Converting some of your daily routine into simple rituals is a powerful way to bring about a sense of joy in your everyday life.
The Power of a Tea Ritual
For centuries and across cultures, tea has been universally used to extend warmth and comfort, to heal physical ailments and to soothe emotions. When you visit a friend’s home, the first thing they usually do is offer you a cup of tea. When someone is feeling sad or unwell, we offer them a cup of tea to make them feel better. With all the healing and comforting associations that we already have with tea, making it part of a daily ritual can have a powerful calming effect on our mind, body and spirit.
How does a Tea Ritual Accomplish This?
A tea ritual is a generous act of self-care that allows you to break away from the hectic bustle of life, and gives you a few precious moment of stillness. It slows you down, quietens your mind, re-centers you, and connects you to the present moment.
With the right tea that suits how you are feeling, this ritual can be deeply nourishing for your mind, body and spirit. If you are feeling anxious, a cup of chamomile tea will help you relax. If you are feeling exhuasted, make yourself nice cup of green tea. Green tea contains EGCG, a potent antioxidant that helps to reduce physical and mental fatigue that we commonly experience in our modern stressful lives.
When practiced with full awareness, this simple tea ritual allows you to enter a state of flow - the mental state of presence where there is full enjoyment and immersion in the activity at hand. Studies have shown that the state of flow increases mental focus, happiness, creativity, and higher self esteem.
As British author Jonathan Stroud writes, “Making tea is a ritual that stops the world from falling in on you.”
A Tea Ritual You Can Practice Right Now
This mindful tea ritual is a conscious practice that gives us the opportunity to be truly present and grateful for what we have right now at this moment. It’s a simple act of mindfulness that will breathe space into your daily life.
1) Choose a tea that supports you or complements your mood. If you are feeling anxious, choose a tea that is calming. If you are feeling tired, choose one that is rejuvenating. And if you are in a good mood, pick a tea that enhances it.
2) Once you have chosen your tea, close your eyes and take three deep, slow, mindful breaths.
3) Open your eyes and begin to prepare your tea mindfully. Try doing every step from getting your cup, boiling the water, and taking your tea bag out of the box with complete attention and presence.
4) Sit with your tea. As you wait for your tea to steep, inhale the aroma, feel the pleasant warmth of the tea, and observe the colour of the water as it changes.
5) Be thankful. Give thanks for this little moment you have, the tea that you have chosen, and that today you’ve had the time to enjoy this little ritual of mindfulness.
6) Savour your tea with full presence. Notice the sensations in your mouth, the taste, the aroma, and how it makes you feel. Take your time to fully appreciate and experience the delicacy of this moment.
7) Self-Gratitude. When you are finished with your tea, thank yourself for giving yourself this precious moment of presence. This is a generous act of self-care and self-love. Cultivating self-gratitude and self-care improves our overall well-being and brings joy into our lives.
A Special Gift of Presence For You
If you have enjoyed this little ritual of presence and would like to cultivate a habit of being present, we have a special gift for you. Together with 1872 Clipper Tea, we have created a complimentary 28-day journey of presence where you will receive daily notes of inspiration that deepen your connection to the present moment.
With Loving Presence,
1872 Clipper Tea x HASIKO