Stress occurs as a physiological response to adverse stimuli or cues. From unexpected phone calls from your GP to a notification reminding you of the deadline you’ve been holding off; we all experience micro-stresses daily. In some regards, stress can positively motivate us to achieve our goals.
However, prolonged or chronic stress can create a host of problems. A report from the American Psychological Association shows that, progressively, women have faced the shorter end of the stick when it comes to stress. Fortunately, women are far more likely to take action toward combating stress. Sleep, diet, lifestyle, and social interaction changes can all play a significant role.
At Domatcha, we advocate for our loyal customers by providing premium products and research-based education to help them live healthy and calm life. Our product, Japanese matcha tea, is special because of its unique concentration of L-theanine, which acts as a natural adaptogen.
Here are some ways we can be proactive about managing our stress.
Post Massage Green Tea Ritual
Stress can show up in our bodies in different ways. One of those ways is muscle knots, which result as a build-up of lactic acid in our bodies. Pampering ourselves with a relaxation/therapeutic massage can help bring down our stress dramatically. A massage professional can help improve circulation in the body, which helps move our lymphatic and detoxification systems. It is recommended to sip water or tea after sessions to flush out the toxins. Try the ceremonial grade matcha or master’s decaf for the perfect, relaxing complement to your massage session. Regular matcha tea contains a neat balance of antioxidant properties and caffeine, contributing to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Stay Vigilant Through Your Workouts
Stress can be mentally taxing, leading to underperformance in our workouts and other activities that might help reduce our body’s cortisol levels.
Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by the middle layer of the adrenal cortex, zona fasciculata. As a hormone, cortisol plays vital functions such as:
- Regulating blood sugar.
- Supporting the breakdown of carbs, proteins, and fats (metabolism).
- Regulating blood pressure.
- Suppresses inflammation.
- Regulating sleep-wake cycle.
- Raising glucose levels when the body is under stress.
We can combat stress and power through our exercise regimens by consuming matcha green tea 30 minutes prior. Our ceremonial matcha and summer harvest matcha contain clean energy in the form of slight caffeine (around 30g/mg) and L-theanine, which helps stimulate feelings of calmness. Research shows that the coupling of caffeine and L-theanine can help induce a state of focus and alertness, but without the jitteriness associated with caffeine consumption.
A part of staying proactive in our workouts is to be mindful. Put your full attention on every movement and how you use your muscles. This can help divert our concentration away from our day to day worries to elevate our fitness.
Build Awareness for Creeping Habits
Coping mechanisms for stress vary from healthy ones, like exercise, to negative ones, like binge eating or drinking. Therefore, it’s essential to develop an awareness of our triggers and when we’re going off the track.
Women, for example, are more likely than men to use eating to manage stress (31% vs 21%). When stressed, overworked, or exhausted, it’s more tempting to reach towards unhealthy choices such as sugars and refined carbohydrates. This is because sugars temporarily lead to spikes in dopamine, stimulating happiness. However, excess sugar consumption can lead to sluggishness, weight gain, and mood changes.
Japanese matcha tea is one of the best timeless hacks to combat these suboptimal habits. The earthy, umami taste of the tea helps discourage cravings for sweets and helps us feel satiated, so we don’t overeat. Matcha tea has been consumed for centuries by the Japanese and is often accompanied by meals. The Japanese also have one of the lowest mortality and obesity rates in the world.
Nurture your Mind with the Presence of Others
As social beings, we theoretically perform and feel better in the presence of others. However, the increasingly individualized culture of work and hustle has made this more difficult. In the Asian tradition, tea is consumed in the presence of family or close friends. In Japan, the idea of a tea ceremony invites individuals to participate in the sacred consumption of matcha tea with other guests.
On this note, women tend to get it right. In a 1997 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, Rena L. Repetti and Jenifer Wood found that during the days when women reported the highest stress level, their children reported that their mothers were especially loving and nurturing. This coincides with the theory that women respond with “tend and mend” to stress, whereas men respond more with ‘fight or flight.’ Physiologically, women produce more oxytocin in the face of stress. They turn towards caretaking and nurturing activities, whereas men are more likely to turn towards hostility/aggression (fight) or apathy (flight).
Across various developed and developing countries, women face elevated work pressure while simultaneously having to perform household responsibilities and childcare. In a longitudinal study by Gallup, worry, stress and anger among women rose to record highs compared to results from a decade ago. This was one of the largest studies conducted across women and 122 countries.
If you’re a woman, embrace your natural tendency to seek support from social circles in times of distress. Men alike could benefit from increased interaction with their loved ones like spouses, friends, or family.
We all deal with stress differently, but one of the most effective ways we can combat is to nurture healthy habits while straying away from the negative. This comes with developing awareness around our triggers, maintaining our energy levels, and setting proper boundaries in our work and personal lives. When we feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can often feel isolating or unwarranted. Remember, what you’re experiencing is very typical in this fast-paced and ever-changing environment. However, if you are experiencing heightened stress, anxiety, or sadness, please seek a medical professional for more accurate advice.
At Domatcha, we aim to help you achieve a sustainably healthy life by equipping you with the purest and highest quality matcha powder.