2021 is officially in full swing!
With the start of the new year – and new decade – you may be looking to improve yourself by making New Year’s resolutions. Sticking to them isn’t always easy, though. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of us fail to achieve our resolutions, with the majority of us losing our resolve by mid-February.
But there’s good news yet: tea can help you reach your goals!
Whether you’re looking to get healthier or simply be more mindful, there are a number of ways tea can help you to be a better you.
We’ve rounded up a few of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and explain how tea can get you closer to accomplishing them.
Resolution: Learn Something New
Looking to pick up a new skill? Whether you want to finally master a musical instrument, learn a language or pick up painting, tea can help!
Research published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that drinking tea may promote improved attention and allow people to be more focused on the task at hand. In the study, people who drank tea produced more accurate results during an attention task and also felt more alert than subjects drinking a placebo. It’s believed that the amino acid theanine and caffeine that occur naturally in tea contribute to many of tea’s psychological benefits.
In this way, tea may help fortify attention and performance, enabling you to focus more on the subject or skill you're learning and thus get better at it, faster.
Tea itself is a great hobby to get into, as well. From learning how to brew it using traditional methods to exploring the flavor profiles of various types, tea allows us to better understand the workings of the earth and different cultures of the world.
To achieve this resolution, we suggest: Enjoy two to three cups of tea an hour before practicing your new skill to improve your focus on the task at hand. Be sure to carve out a little time – at least 15 to 20 minutes – every day to practice your new still. You’ll be a master in no time!
Resolution: Spend More Quality Time with the People That Matter
Sharing an experience – such as having a cup of tea – is a great way to bond with a family member or catch up with a good friend. After all, nothing brings people together like tea!
Preparing and sharing tea turns the attention away from the chaos of the surrounding world, and shifts it inward toward one another, allowing for more opportunities to connect authentically and without interruption. Even the tea itself can inspire discussion, making it a great conversation starter.
Family rituals or friendly (socially distant) get togethers can be as simple as catching up at the end of the school day over a cup of tea all the way to whipping up your own tea-inspired masterpieces in the kitchen.
To achieve this goal, we suggest: Inviting a family member or friend to enjoy tea time with you once a week. Even if it's over Zoom!
Resolution: Be More Present
Rituals can help us be more present and mindful.
Brewing tea, for example, requires that you slow down and focus on the practice itself, keeping your mind in the present and thus free from anxiety and worry. There’s certainly nothing more relaxing than the aroma of tea leaves as they unfurl and dance as they brew.
Preparing and drinking tea mindfully is also a treat for the senses. You become much more attuned to the way the tea looks, smells, tastes and feels in your mouth, meaning you can fully enjoy it and all its nuances.
It may be a small way to practice mindfulness, but in due time, the daily ritual of preparing tea will help you be more present in other places and situations as well.
To achieve this goal, we suggest: Dedicate 10 minutes of your day to preparing and enjoying a cup of tea and doing nothing else. Don’t check your phone, keep the TV off. Maintain your focus exclusively on the tea in front of you.
Resolution: Lose Weight
Losing weight is consistently one of the most popular resolutions (with 42% of people looking to accomplish this goal in 2020). Although there’s a bit of a debate as to whether drinking tea regularly can actually help you drop pounds, new research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” states that tea drinkers do tend to sport slimmer waistlines.
After reviewing several studies on the effects green, white and oolong tea have on body weight, Dutch researchers found that tea’s natural compounds assist in increasing energy expenditure, or calories burned at rest. Furthermore, the components have been shown to increase fat breakdown in the body.
Nevertheless, healthy dieting requires you be mindful of your calorie intake and get regular exercise, too.
To achieve this goal, we suggest: In addition to eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, swap soda with a cup of hot or chilled tea (pass on adding sugar).