We talk a lot about stress here because it is a big part of reversing Hashimoto’s. It’s also a big part of life, right?
It feels like stressors come at us from every angle – poor sleep, food issues, busy-ness, negative news, travel, keeping the house clean, managing kids schedules, and so on…
When we experience one of these stressors, the increase of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol is crucial for our survival – it gets us alert and prepared to protect ourselves, it gets us going in the morning, and it helps us focus to face a perceived threat (a boss, an angry driver, a school test, a hungry lion 🙂 )
This is a good response – we need it!
The issue with us humans is that we can keep this response going for way too long. And many times it’s just with our thoughts. We’re thinking about the to-do list, worrying about the future, rehashing past events, planning multiple kids schedules while also getting dinner ready while listening to the news. You get the point. 🙂 Our thoughts alone can keep us in this pattern of heightened stress response.
While we can make changes to reduce some stress, in general stress is an unavoidable part of life. So the best thing we can do is help our body handle it better.
One great way to do this is with tea.
There are two categories of teas that are great for easing the effects of stress:
These work well together to help our body handle and recover from chronic stress. After reading this article you will know some great options for helping rebalance your body from stress.
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help the body adapt to stress more effectively. In other words, they help you recover from stress better. These herbs are also high in nutrients that help restore and balance the body improving fatigue, sleep, and even immunity. They help over time so enjoying one or more cups of tea daily will increase their effectiveness in the long term.
These are a couple of great adaptogenic herbs:
Tulsi (also called holy basil) has been widely used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. It is also a mild nervine so it is gently uplifting, relaxing, and is known to decrease general anxiety.
Reishi mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It supports energy maintenance, reduces fatigue, boosts the immune system.
Nervines are a category of herbs that act on the nervous system. They can be stimulating, relaxing, or tonifying. The effects are felt more quickly so they are beneficial for current stress.
These are some powerful nervines:
Chamomile is calming and pleasant to drink. It has the added benefit of calming intestinal spasms that can accompany IBS, especially stressed-induced, and can also reduce anxiety.
Lavender is relaxing and eases muscle tension. It is great if you tend to get tension headaches.
Catnip is a great nervine that is relaxing and eases muscle spasms. It has the added benefit of aiding intestinal spasms that are common with IBS and stress.
Passionflower is great for sleep because it is mildly sedative. It is helpful to aid sleep and can help reduce anxiety.
Great teas for stress
Here are herb blends that are easy to find and taste good!
In addition to these options, you can also experiment with loose herbs (Mountain Rose Herbs is a good resource).
Creating a Ritual to Reduce Stress
Making one of these teas as you run out the door makes their effects less noticeable. Instead, creating a ritual around your tea will amplify the qualities.
Allow yourself a space of at least 15 minutes to brew and enjoy drinking your tea.
Pour the water into your mug
Allow the tea to fully brew (time is on the package)
SIT and enjoy your tea
While you are drinking the tea, consider an additional stress-reducing activity you’d enjoy. Listening to music, reading, sitting or looking outside, drawing, listen to a podcast, and so on.
Allowing this moment of calm in your day will have a transformative effect on how stress affects your body. You will likely start to feel calmer, clear-minded, less anxious, more energized throughout the rest of your day.
Which tea will you try? Let us know in the comments!