• Maria O'Meara

Keep calm and drink Tea

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

Polly put the kettle on,

Polly put the kettle on,

Polly put the kettle on,

We'll all have tea.

Tea is at the heart of the British culture and a prominent feature of our everyday life in Britain. Our National Tea Day always falls on the 21st of April. The history of tea is fascinating, It originates from China and the far east and was introduced to Britain in the 17th Century by Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess, a serious tea enthusiast and wife of Charles the II. At first, tea was popular amongst the upper classes, however, it did not take long to be embraced and loved by the whole nation and become an inseparable part of the British lifestyle.

We have numerous of reasons to be thankful and grateful to those inconspicuous cups of tea consumed by Brits over the last few centuries. During the industrial revolution tea’s caffeine properties supported the working population pushing through the long working hours and challenging working conditions. Tea was also instrumental in the prevention of pandemics; Yes! Pandemics. The act of boiling the water in order to make delicious, boosting tea has helped to fight off diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. I think it is reasonable to suggest that tea was in some small way instrumental in Britain’s success story.

One of my favourite taglines about tea that has gained particular popularity over the last decade is the catchphrase “Keep Calm and Drink Tea”. A simple phrase that holds deep scientific and therapeutic truths.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some in their life. You might find that drinking tea helps. There are studies that suggest drinking tea especially a range of herbal teas could be helpful in the treatment of depression. The National Library of Medicine, in 2016, published the results of a study indicating the long-term soothing and positive effects of chamomile tea in the effort of reducing the symptoms of depression. Similar studies conducted regarding the positive effects in tackling depression, stress and anxiety with teas such as green tea and Ashwagandha tea.

You have to admit that the mere ritual of putting the kettle on, waiting for the water to boil, brewing the tea to the desired consistency, adding or not adding a dash of milk and sugar and then slowly and steadily nourishing every sip of this boosting hot beverage it is a rewarding and thoroughly comforting process.

When finding themselves in a crisis, Brits will reach for the kettle. A comforting cup of tea is considered by many as the fourth emergency response. Talking from personal experience I have conceived my best ideas and found exceptionally effective solutions to problems during my frequent and treasured tea breaks.

In addition to being a great problem-solving opportunity sharing a beautifully brewed cuppa can lead to wonderful and meaningful social interactions with those closest to us whether that be colleagues, friends, or family members. Sharing a cuppa together encourages and strengthens connectivity. Connectivity typically enhances positivity and has a direct beneficial impact on our mood and emotions. During relaxing tea breaks and chat our bodies secrete a wonderful hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is associated with the release of happy hormones, which is especially important during periods of stress and anxiety. Oxytocin also acts as a cortisol suppressor effectively supporting our body in reversing the detrimental impact of stress and anxiety both physiologically and psychologically.

Green tea, avocados, figs, watermelons, and spinach are super foods that actively contribute to the healthy secretion of oxytocin, aiding us to be happy and cheerful versions of ourselves.

So, if you are looking to shift your mood and generate a warm feel-good state whilst lowering levels of stress and anxiety, regulating emotional responses and pro-social behaviours, building trust, empathy and optimism simply put the kettle on.

Polly knew what was good for us all those years ago.

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