Root yourself in the present moment and find peace and calm with this mindful herbal tea ritual, designed to remind you of life’s simple pleasures.
Mindfulness has been practised in one form or another by humans across the globe for millennia. And there’s been a renewed interest in the art of being present in recent years, as modern science confirms the benefits of mindfulness for our health and wellbeing.
From reducing stress and anxiety to improving our physical health, there are plenty of reasons to make mindfulness part of our daily lives.
Small daily rituals, such as making a cup of herbal tea, can help you be present in the moment and appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through a mindful herbal tea ritual you can easily use at home to find peace and calm.
What Is Mindfulness?
The concept of mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism but plenty of other religions and spiritual practices also place an emphasis on the importance of grounding ourselves in the present moment.
You don’t need to be religious or spiritual to practice mindfulness, however. It’s simply the art of bringing your attention to the present moment and observing it without judgement.
Easily said, but much harder to do. Our minds are usually distracted with memories of the past or thoughts of the future. We rarely concentrate just on what is going on in front of us.
Even when we do, judgement quickly sets in. We all have that critical voice in our heads that is hard to silence.
Like any other skill, mindfulness takes time and patience to learn. The more you practice it, the easier you’ll find it to bring your attention to the present and observe your thoughts and emotions without judgement or criticism.
There are plenty of different ways to practice mindfulness. Some people use meditation, others prefer to journal, go for a walk in nature, or do yoga.
Often, finding that state of mindfulness is easiest when you have a focus to help you, especially if you are new to this practice.
That’s where our mindful herbal tea ritual comes in. Making tea can be a mundane daily task. But it can also be a focus for being present and connected with the current moment. Done with intention and purpose, making and drinking herbal tea becomes a powerful ritual for calming our minds.
It’s why countries like China and Japan have elevated making tea into a revered art that has strong cultural and spiritual significance. These famous tea ceremonies have their roots in Zen Buddhism and emphasise the beauty and pleasure to be found in simple daily routines.
While we’re not suggesting that you try to replicate a full Japanese tea ceremony every time you make a cup of tea, you can easily create your own tea-making ritual to help you invite mindfulness into your daily life.
Making Tea Mindfully
“That, I think, is the power of ceremony: it marries the mundane to the sacred. The water turns to wine, the coffee to prayer. The material and the spiritual mingle, transformed like steam rising from a mug in the morning sun.” ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
Turning tea-making into a mindfulness ritual depends on slowing down so that you can bring intention, presence, and purpose to every step of the process. So, it’s best done when you have some time to spare, not when you’re rushing out the door or distracted by an urgent to-do list.
Set the mood by closing your eyes for a few moments and bringing your attention to your breathing. Take long, deep breaths, ideally through your nose. Allow your abdomen to rise and fall with your breath.
Then, bring your attention to your physical surroundings. Feel the contact between your feet and the floor. Notice the sensation of the clothes against your skin. Are you warm or cold? What can you hear? What can you smell?
Open your eyes. Moving slowly and with intention, select a mug or cup for your tea. You might want to have a special one you use for this purpose.
Feel the weight of it in your hands, the texture of the glaze, the curve of the handle.
Place the cup gently down and then choose the herbal tea you want to drink. If you have a selection, think about what you need in the present moment – what flavours are you drawn to? What benefits do you need?
We love to use NutraRelax for the calming herbs it contains, NutraLipid for its focus on heart health, and Turmeric & Cinnamon for its earthy, grounding flavour. But any herbal tea you’re drawn to can work.
Take a tea bag and hold it for a moment. Feel the texture of the bag and how it differs from the string or the tag. Smell it and notice which herbs come through most strongly. Then, place it in your cup.
Fill your kettle with the amount of water you need, no more, no less. Again, bring your full attention to the action. Feel the weight of the kettle and how it changes as you fill it. Hear the sound of the water flowing. As the kettle boils, keep your focus on the sounds it makes. Remember to keep breathing slowly and deeply.
When the kettle is ready, allow it to cool for a minute or two. Watch the steam coming from its spout. Feel again the physical sensations that surround you.
Take the kettle and slowly pour the water into your mug. Engage all your senses – hear the sound of the water, smell the scent of the tea, notice how the colour of the water changes as it begins to infuse with the herbal goodness from the tea bag.
Place the kettle back down and pick up your cup. Feel the warmth in your hands, and the steam gently rising from the tea.
Slowly and precisely, carry your cup to your favourite spot. Sit down, noticing the parts of your body that are now in contact with your chair. Feel your muscles relax and your mind slow.
Inhale deeply to appreciate the delicious smell of the tea. Try to see how many different scents are making up the whole. You don’t need to be able to name them, just be aware of the complexity of the smell.
When your tea is cool enough, take a small sip. Hold it in your mouth. What flavours can you detect? Does the taste change with time? Once you swallow, what lingers on your tongue?
Pause between each sip, reaffirming your focus on your physical reality – the smells, sounds, sights, and sensations that surround you. Each time you take a new sip, stop to appreciate the taste and the sensation of the warm liquid.
Don’t worry if your attention wanders – it is normal! When you notice that your focus has shifted, simply bring it back to the tea in front of you without judgement.
When you finish your tea, pause to take stock of how you feel. Are you calmer, more grounded than you were before? Do you feel relaxed, physically and mentally?
Take a moment to feel gratitude for the tea you’ve just enjoyed and thank yourself for the gift of time and presence.
Then, go about your day, feeling refreshed and relaxed.