6 Teas To Lift the Clouds and Boost Your Mood

What could be cozier than a warm cup of tea on a cold, rainy morning? If you feel like you need to shake the blues before you snuggle up with your favorite throw and relax, consider that some types of tea can actually help alleviate unpleasant feelings like sadness, anxiety and stress. Here's the tea on the six best mood-boosting herbal blends to try.

1. Feel Calm With Chamomile

You're probably familiar with the tiny, adorable chamomile flower buds that commonly show up in bedtime tea blends. In addition to its relaxing scent, chamomile can create a soothing, warm sensation that helps with restful sleep. Research published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2016 even found that a regular regimen of chamomile tea reduced symptoms of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder.

2. Turn It Up With Tulsi

You might not even realize that you have the ingredients for tulsi tea growing in your garden. Sometimes called holy basil, tulsi has been shown in studies to improve mood and sharpen concentration when consumed in tea form. Simply steep the leaves along with a bit of ginger and cardamom for about five minutes, then add your preferred amount of honey and lemon for an instantly revitalizing brew.

3. Savor St. John's Wort

Although St. John's wort is a common supplement for depression in capsule form, it can also benefit your mood when taken as a tea. Some research suggests that this herbal ingredient can relieve symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, anxiety and depression. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that St. John's wort may work as effectively as prescription antidepressants for some people who have mild to moderate symptoms, though it's important to make sure it doesn't interact with other meds you take.

4. Adapt With Ashwagandha

Look no further than this ancient tea if you need relaxation. Ashwagandha actually qualifies as a substance called an adaptogen, which allows your body ADAPT (get it?) to stress. Humans have been drinking this herbal tea for thousands of years to support maximum function of the brain, lower stress-causing cortisol levels and resolve symptoms of anxiety and depression. A 2019 study published in Medicine (Baltimore) found that drinking ashwagandha tea effectively reduced feelings of anxiety among participants.

5. Love That Lemon Balm

Part citrus tang, part minty zip, this tea is nearly guaranteed to become your new go-to. Lemon balm has a long history as a remedy for stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression, and it can also help sharpen your mental focus. It's no wonder that this herb, native to West Asia, North Africa and Europe, is now a popular potted plant all over the world. A study published in the journal Nutrients in 2014 even backed up lemon balm's ability to relieve anxiety and soothe stress.

6. Go for the Green

Why is green such a great color for foods and beverages? You know your green veggies are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and green tea has similarly impressive health effects.

First and foremost, it contains an anxiety-alleviating amino acid called L-theanine. An animal study published by the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences also linked green tea to higher levels of serotonin and dopamine, two mood-regulating chemicals in the brain. In addition to the mental health benefits of green tea, it's packed with antioxidants that help fight cancer-causing free radicals and may support loss of fat cells.

When adding new herbal teas to your diet, check with your health care provider to make sure they don't interfere with any prescription or over-the-counter remedies you take. Some supplements can have unwanted effects when combined with other medications.

Positive Affirmations: The Science and Benefits

Positive affirmations seem innocuous and fruitless to skeptics, yet people have been using positive phrases to challenge unhelpful or negative thoughts for decades. While the practice can seem odd to the newcomer, that doesn't indicate its ineffectiveness.

There is plenty of research to support the practice of daily affirmations to support mood and self-esteem. It all comes down to self-talk and the altering of negative subconscious patterns. In essence, positive affirmations are about replacing adversarial self-talk with more positive and adaptive narratives.

Reviewing the Science

Positive affirmations only work when developed into a habit. If you want to make lasting changes to your inner dialogue, confidence, and self-esteem, you need to alter your frame of mind, which takes time.

While affirmations require time, they do not require faith to work. The use of daily affirmations is rooted in sound, well-established, and supported psychological theory, specifically self-affirmation theory. The practice was the focus of several empirical studies. It has been proven time and time again that self-integrity is malleable and that how people perceive the world can affect their view of self.

In other words, by sculpting a more positive view through positive self-affirmations, people can maintain self-integrity regardless of outside influences. People, then, have the ability to determine their morale through the power of thought and perception.

Identity and the Self

How you view yourself is often the result of many outside influences, such as friends, family, employer, etc. However, while these people play a role in how you develop, what matters is how you internalize their input.

Affirmations remind people that what matters most is how they view themselves. While receiving feedback can alter beliefs and thinking, it should not detract from the person.

The routine practice of positive affirmations can help people realize the significance of self-reflection and self-talk. When you commit to seeing the best in you and surround yourself with positivity, you can experience significant benefits from affirmations.

Benefits of Daily Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are not just words. When focused into a habit, they have a transformative effect that can alter health, performance, and productivity. According to the years of research, daily affirmations can provide several distinct advantages, including:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Improved resilience to criticism
  • Altered negative physical behavior
  • Improved academic performance

Outlook for Habitual Use

Despite the naysayers, positive and daily affirmations are tied to actual and proven results. With habitual use, positive affirmations can alter a person's way of thinking, encouraging an optimistic mindset. The change from a negative focus to optimism can also lead to fewer negative thoughts, also reducing the tendency to linger on negative experiences.

For those struggling with anxiety or other health conditions, affirmations can encourage resilience, allowing for action and improving confidence. Primarily, affirmations help create a broader sense of self, allowing people to manage social pressures more constructively.

Using positive affirmations is advantageous. While some skeptics might feel a little strange conversing with themselves in the mirror, they will likely notice a positive change with practice and commitment. Sometimes, to make ourselves feel better, we need to feel a little strange first.

Have you ever tried daily affirmations? If so, for how long, and did they work? Leave a comment below.