The onset of addiction disorders can come from various contributing factors such as experiences stemming from trauma, stress at work or home, or social endeavors. When you begin to associate drinking or drugs with coping and managing stress, it becomes ritualistic. After overcoming your drinking or drug addiction, your brain might still crave the ritualistic aspect of your addiction. Such cravings can be a detriment to your recovery, and when these impulses occur, you will want to find ways to overcome them.
Drinking Tea to Curb Cravings
Did you know that drinking tea is not only a healthy habit, but it also helps combat your ritualistic cravings by becoming a ritualistic outlet in itself? However, it is not just the act of drinking tea that replaces one ritual for another. The effects of tea are more profound than one might think. Alcohol and drugs trick your hormones into giving you a sense of well-being by producing copious amounts of dopamine. In its essence, tea does the same thing, except that it happens organically. The next time you are getting the urge to drink after experiencing a stressful situation, try to combat it with some loose-leaf tea.
Tea, especially green tea, can be useful for your health. According to Harvard Medical School, tea contains substances linked to a lower risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Teas also include flavonoids that help maintain normal blood vessel function. Such boosts in mood influence your sense of peace, creativity, inspiration, and energy. Additionally, drinking tea can contribute to proper hydration, improved focus and concentration, and a positive mood. Tea also includes healthy compounds such as antioxidants, L-theanine, and essential minerals like potassium.
Combing Drinking Tea and Meditation
Throughout history, tea is essential to aiding many cultures in meditation practices. Somewhere between the balanced quantity of caffeine and nutrients, tea is said to provide the perfect remedy for keeping the mind mildly awake, sharp, and alert without giving the jittery feeling felt after drinking too much coffee.
Preparing your time to drink tea can become ritualistic in that this preparation process can aid in your meditation practice. Using tea leaves and proper tea utensils is a therapeutic process that is methodical and allows you to prepare your mind for deep meditation. In these moments, you might take time to give gratitude for the things you have. Fixing your mind and shifting it toward a more positive outlook also aids in meditation because, unlike other drinks and practices, tea allows you the time to think. These factors benefit an emotional lightness, which helps you better prepare when it comes time to unwind and sit with your thoughts.
Tea is Social
More and more people are discovering the benefits of tea and implementing drinking tea into their daily practice. Tea also pairs well with the company. It is just hot enough and just caffeinated enough to accompany a meaningful visit with family, friends, and peers from support. However, during COVID-19, it may be challenging to get together with people to drink tea. You may want to plan virtual tea parties through Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime to ensure you are remaining safe but still enjoying the company of others. Planning for such occasions not only helps you to stay connected with the people that you care about, but you will simultaneously be benefiting from all the healthy nutrients found in tea.
What Kind of Tea Should I Drink?
There is a wide array of teas that include different nutrients that affect health and mood differently. You may want to gain insight on where you need a boost in your recovery and lifestyle, and then choose which tea is right for you.
Chamomile tea is most commonly known for its calming effects and is often used as a sleep aid. In one study, 34 patients with insomnia found marginal improvements in waking up during the night, time to falling asleep, and daytime functioning after drinking chamomile tea twice a day. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), chamomile tea is also believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and liver-protecting effects.
Peppermint tea is one of the most commonly used herbal teas in the world. While its most frequently used to support the digestive health tract, it also has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties (NCBI).
Passionflower tea is traditionally used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep. One study showed that passionflower tea even helped relieve the mental symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal, such as anxiety, irritability, and agitation, when used in combination with medication.
Tea comes in many different varieties, and each can become great in aiding other practices in your recovery. If you have not considered tea, now might be a good time to try. It is an excellent alternative to coffee, and it can also add another healthy ritual to your day. Of course, tea should not be a substitute nor perceived as a substantial source of treatment, but paired with other modalities, it can make your healing process that much stronger. However, if you have reached a point where self-care and home remedies are not helping to aid your mood and recovery, then it is time to seek help. At True Recovery, we will meet you wherever you’re at in your recovery journey. We offer both conventional and alternative treatments, including holistic approaches, because we understand that recovery is not one-size-fits-all. Our goal is to instill in you the tools to sustain a lasting and meaningful recovery. To learn more, call True Recovery at (866) 399-6528.