Most of us are running a mile a minute, stretched in a hundred directions, feeling like there is no way that we can do everything we want in the time we have.
Unfortunately, stress has become commonplace. Do you know anyone who isn’t stressed out trying to balance career, family and home?
But there are many simple things that we can do to overcome overwhelm and take a time-out. Rituals help us to slow down, tune in and do something that makes our mind and body feel good.
Drinking tea can be one of those simple rituals.
The Japanese tea ceremony
The Japanese have a beautiful tea ceremony ritual. It is a spiritual practice of mindfulness, self-care and community. You’ve probably seen it in the movies. It is sacred and special. The tea ceremony “seeks to purify the mind and attain oneness with nature.”
Tea preparation requires “pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart.”
While not everyone performs this exact custom, I have incorporated the practices of drinking tea, honoring the underlying philosophies of connecting to self, appreciating simplicity and contemplating the relationship of the inner and outer world.
Enter tulsi, the “queen of herbs”
In Indian lore, Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of beauty, love and abundance. There is a myth that says Lakshmi was cursed to reincarnate as a plant and became Tulsi, and that is why the plant has such power. “According to legend, no amount of gold could outweigh Krishna's power, but a single Tulsi leaf placed on the pan in loving devotion tilted that scale.”
Tulsi, also called holy basil, is an ancient herb that was discovered 5,000 years ago. Tulsi tea benefits are said to include supporting a healthy response to stress, natural detoxification, stamina, endurance and energy, as well as restoring balance and harmony.†
In addition, it is classified as an adaptogenic herb, which means responds to the body's reactions to stress and helps it to adapt and return to its balanced state. Pretty cool, right?
Tulsi can be found in most Indian homes and is used as a solution for many ailments; it is considered the “queen of herbs.” According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath, Tulsi is helpful for our respiratory system, can help support healthy blood sugar and blood pressure, and it is good for skin, allergy relief and more.†
Create your own tulsi tea ritual
Create your own tulsi tea ritual and make it special. Pick a time of the day for your tea-time/me-time. Steep your favorite flavor of tulsi tea from a special teapot and pour it into a smile-inducing mug.
To make the ritual extra delightful, add an audio component with some ambient soothing music; try some nature sounds. Add a visualization: imagine yourself in nature, at a lake surrounded by lush foliage. Or choose a special place that evokes calm and special memories.
What else can you do to make this time special? Add some deep breathing, and you’ll feel the stress start to melt away as you sip.
What other small rituals help you manage stress?
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.