Anxiety is the persistent nagging feeling of nervousness and worry. As a symptom, you may feel anxiety as an increase in heart rate, as butterflies in your tummy or you may identify it as the worrisome feeling that keeps you up at night. Anxiety often presents itself at times of stress with pressures from work or home particularly if you are feeling overwhelmed. For many, this feeling is fleeting and easily controlled while others struggle daily with a feeling of anxiety.
It's difficult to say if society is experiencing an increase in anxiety as a result of high-pressure living or social isolation or if a more open conversation about mental health is exposing the real impact and spread of anxiety. After all, 50 years ago people did not openly discuss the feeling of anxiety or depression as this was a sign of weakness.
For relief, there are many management strategies which are proven to help. These include daily exercises, meditation, mindfulness, healthy eating and also good sleep hygiene.
If you are looking for a natural remedy to assist with easing anxiety symptoms, Matcha Green Tea can not only help to improve your mental clarity but also calm your nerve.
L-theanine and Matcha
The centuries-old Japanese tea, Matcha is abundant in L-theanine. This unique amino acid continues to be proven to reduce stress responses and symptoms of anxiety. L-theanine works by increasing GABA, dopamine and serotonin, the natural brain chemicals which are responsible for a feeling of calm and well-being.
L-theanine is readily absorbed into our bloodstream and quickly crosse the blood-brain barrier where it positively increases alpha brain activity. This, in turn, stimulates GABA, a neurotransmitter which regulates anxiety by reducing impulses in the brain.
As matcha contains more L-theanine than any other tea, it makes this brew a potent source of natural calm.
Matcha and Mindfulness
Tiny practices of mindfulness through the day help to slow down our racing thoughts and bring our mind to the present. By bringing your thoughts to where you are right now, to what you can see, what you can smell and tastes that dance on your tongue you will slowly teach your mind to come back to your body and to ease your anxiety.
For centuries Japanese monks drank Matcha green tea prior to meditation. The tea making ritual slowed the mind while the matcha itself brought further clarity and restfulness. You can see how both these elements brought enhancement to the meditation sessions.
If you are finding yourself too busy to practice mindfulness then use the time you prepare your matcha tea as a moment to control your thoughts. prepare your Matcha tea using traditional methods, with a Chasen (bamboo matcha whisk), Chashaki (bamboo matcha scoop) and a Chawan (matcha bowl)
As you whisk the matcha powder and hot water in a W motion, pay attention to all your senses. Breathe in the earthy yet sweet matcha aroma, watch as the vibrant green water turns into a frothy treat and finally take your time to enjoy the layers of flavour unfurl on your tongue.
What About Sleep?
Anxiety is often a game of swings and roundabouts. A good nights seel can be an elixir for anxiety, and yet the anxious mind can prevent sleep and leaving you tossing and turning all night and more tired in the morning than what you were when you went to bed.
Remember those natural brain chemicals GABA, dopamine and serotonin we discussed above? By drinking Matcha regularly you will increase those calm-inducing chemicals which aid in achieving a restful sleep/
Consider matcha as part of your sleep hygiene routine - one that begins at the beginning of the day.