You have the power right now to transform your life with one single thing.
Pretty much everyone experiences stress at one time or another. It’s not all bad – as humans we do enjoy challenges and even a little bit of fear! But it can get too much. Do you recognise any of these?
- tight deadlines and long hours at work
- continual demands on our time from work and family
- challenging behaviour from our children (any age!)
- feeling low and pessimistic generally
- the experience of ill-health – ours or those close to us
The feeling of overwhelm and lack of control can really get you feeling down. So here’s one simple thing that is in your power to do today.
How many cups of tea or coffee do you make during a day? And how often, if ever, do you sit and completely savour your drink?
For most of us – this doesn’t happen often. There isn’t the time – or is it a habit?
Yet the one thing you can do to transform your life is to shift your approach to this daily routine of drinking tea. Give yourself time to drink your tea.
- Start by taking your time as you carefully go through the motions of making the tea. This can be like a ritual that allows you to slow down and undertake your task calmly and with enjoyment.
- Then sit and savour the warmth, the aroma and the drink.
- Is it possible that you drink tea because it’s hot and wet and just a habit? Notice what it really tastes like and do you really enjoy this taste or is it an engrained habit?!
- Focus on this one experience of drinking tea. This is probably completely new to you and it might feel odd!
- How often have you drunk your tea without even noticing its flavour, without slowing down to let your body relax?
- As you sit and drink, you may feel the urge to check your i-phone, pick up a magazine or watch some television. We’re so used to keeping ourselves occupied that even when we’re ‘taking a break’ we can’t help keeping ourselves busy!
- Can you see how this takes your focus away from being present with your tea?
- When you resist this urge to get distracted in being busy, you are experiencing a tea-drinking meditation.
- As you sit quietly and fully enjoy your drink, your body’s Parasympathetic Nervous System is responding. This means you’re truly relaxing! Your heartbeat and blood pressure are slowing down and your body’s muscles are relaxing.
So why will this transform your life?
Sit down for this mindful cup of tea, and you will reduce the symptoms associated with stress.
Do this daily, and it really can give you an oasis of calm amidst the chaos, becoming a new regular habit.
It means that you are taking some time out every day to step off your usual pattern of behaviour and get your body back to the steady-state it’s designed to experience.
Remember, being stressed isn’t sustainable long-term – it’s your body’s reaction to danger. And this small tea-drinking experience gives you a clear experience of being mindful and present.
And once you start doing that, you may find other moments of your day where you experience being completely present. And so you begin to transform your life towards balance, well-being and enjoyment for the simple things!
More here on ‘Tea Culture’:
I love the description in here about ‘preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart’ in this description of the Japanese Tea Ceremony
When is your favourite time of the day to enjoy a cup of tea and do you think this one thing could transform your life?
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Coach