Depression and tea- does it help you?
I’m a chronic downward-spiraler. It’s easy to downward-spiral. It’s easy to become depressed and concentrate on all the negative things in your life. But you can’t let yourself dwell on those things. Personally, I love tea! I also love walking into a clean kitchen. So, when I’m having a really bad day and realize that I’m starting to dwell on the negative things, I wash all the dishes and make myself some tea. And then I feel a lot better. You have to choose to be happy and choose to concentrate on the things that make you happy. Sure, it’s not always easy. But learn what things bring you even the smallest amount of happiness, and latch onto those things. It doesn’t matter what happens to you in life, it matters how you react to it. It’s taken about 25 years for that to sink in, but I truly believe it. If you tell yourself that you’re miserable, you’re going to be miserable. You can’t give in to those thoughts. If tea makes you less depressed, then drink it any time you need/want it.
I think that part of the benefit of tea, not just the chemical reactions and all, is that it forces us to slow down, and calm down a bit. We take time to smell the dry tea and like aromatherapy, the smell makes us happy. The smell is like foreplay…it excites our senses. Smelling the steamy hot mug or cup forces us to breathe in slowly, which is calming, and so it is these little physiological things that accumulate to a positive experience. Likewise, I think having a ritual activity, such as having your daily tea, has a beneficial effect on the brain. Some people watch sports religiously…or ritually, and the brain recognizes that as a happy thing.
Even if I wasn’t into bumping old threads, I would still bump this. And even if I wasn’t a fellow sufferer of depression I would still bump this thread.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve had depression since my early teens, and maybe in childhood. I’ve always been lethargic, feeling like I’m being weighed down, fits of sadness. With my teen years due to wacky hormone levels….not sure about then.
Alot of times I will feel more “neutral” then happy or depressed. I don’t like neutral but there are times where neutral is an improvement. happy is often a brief feeling that rarely lasts for very long. depressive periods can last anywhere from a day to week with little to no breaks. But it can depend on what I am doing. It being winter right now….alot harder to keep those feelings at bay. I plan on trying to get out and about and take walks, (also badly out of shape, so it won’t be long walks at 1st.) or shoveling when there is snow on the ground. Light Aerobics and/or yoga. a Women’s Multi Vitamin, and sensible diet plan, with (Hopefully!) consulting a doctor/dietitian.
Does tea help? Sometimes. I have been trying to avoid letting it become to much like medicine, like where I need to have it in order to feel alright. Right now, I treat it more like a treat. Especially if I successfully have tea instead of eating something really unhealthy for me like ice cream.
Depends on the tea, and what else is going on. It is a part of my daily tool box, spiritual practice and life, but not necessarily my primary tool for facing/coping with depression per se.
I have depression, agoraphobia, and SAD pretty bad… Tea helps sometimes, especially when it includes dairy (one of my big comfort food groups), and especially when paired with other things, like deep breathing and ASMR videos. I don’t usually get ASMR unless my depression is completely under control, but the videos provide constant, neutral sound that is neither positive nor negative, and should relax but not trigger an emotional response, like music might.
However, when I feel the frustration building and my face is starting to feel hot and I’m on the verge of tears, nothing is more relaxing than plain cold water.
I’ve battled depression (and other mental health issues that have finally been diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder and severe anxiety) for most of my life. I grew up with a father in the military, so we moved a lot. I had a very inconsistent childhood, my family has never been very supportive, and I have a difficult time meeting people and making friends because of my anxiety and BPD. My childhood was very unstable, there was no consistency, and I was generally unhappy. I’ve been on countless medications over the years, but nothing has helped me more than coming up with a routine.
For me, the biggest emotional regulators I have are my tea ritual and my horse. The whole ritual around tea calms and relaxes me, and boosts my mood. From the selection, where I go through the teas I feel might be what I want to drink at that moment and smell each one, taking deep, thoughtful inhales, to the heating of the water, I like to watch the bubbles form and listen to the sound the kettle makes as the water heats and hisses inside, to the actual consumption, more deep inhales, pausing with each sip to think about what flavours I pick up and how they make me feel.
Mindfulness is a great emotional regulating tool. What I described about my tea ritual is a great example of mindfulness. I learned a lot of coping skills in my second round of group therapy for my self harming problems. It’s possibly the most useful skill I’ve learned, and while there are still days where I get too depressed to actually consciously practice it, I find that because my tea making has become a mindfulness exercise of its own, making a cup of tea helps even the worst mood get a little better.
I’m always here if you need to talk
I have never been officially diagnosed, so I am extremely hesitant to use specific terms. That being said, I’m fairly certain that I have some form of depression/anxiety/SAD – it comes and goes, but when it settles in (usually the winter months, although last year it stayed much longer than that) it gets bad.
Last winter, I discovered loose tea. And that quite honestly is one of the things which kept me going – a limitless distraction. Something new and infinite, something to learn. Now that I’m out of it – at least for now – I don’t drink tea with quite the fervor that I did, but it’s still nice to have that comfort.
I find that I can’t drink mate because it makes me anxious and panicky – always a bad thing to add to a danger day. But if It is a danger day, something warm and sweet sometimes just keeps me safe.
I am so sorry you suffer from depression!
Tea is such an uplifting and soothing beverage, I am glad it is part of your healing.
radiantrecoverydotcom has great ideas for eating well to support health, it helps me with hypoglycemia so much, and it helps people with depression, too, if you are interested in it, I just thought I’d mention it. Best wishes, keep posting, and hugs…
Glad this thread was bumped. I haven’t been diagnosed either, I saw a therapist in high school and struggled with anxiety during college. The first year and half after my son was born I was great and then once he was mobile and I was back in the workforce everything was overwhelming. Quitting work at Teavana was a temporary relief and I got less migraines but soon I found myself even more depressed because I didn’t have an adult social outlet.
“I thought I was just lazy, unmotivated, incompetent etc.” Yes, this! And this: “The incredible sadness, the heavy limbs, the lack of will to do much of anything besides watch my television or sleep… and the random outbursts of tears”. Lately whenever my parents ask how I am I can’t even answer for fear of crying. My mom suggested SAD, but I’m going on over a year nearly solid, of course some days are better than other, but the summer was not any better than winter.
As for tea, yes! I’ve had a few “lapses” this year when I didn’t feel like drinking/making tea and that was a downward cycle in and of itself. The long I went without tea the worse I felt and the worse I felt the less I wanted to brew tea. I do think there is something to be said about the theanine, but just the ritual of tea, the contemplation and focus on the cup and the sense, instead of dwelling about the future. Big help for me. Not a cure all of course, but a short relief. Be well everyone!
O my great topic, don’t got the time to read it all! But i myself got the tourettes syndrome , got loads off stress for the most stupid things because off that. My personal expierence is that when i started drinking tea (loads and loads off good tea) it started to help calm and relax me in a way that no other beverage can!
I know for a fact that for me it works and the whole ritual off making a cup does help to…
When i got more time i’m going to read true and post more stuff, great topic guys really!