What do you do to relax? Some of you, no doubt, will answer “Put the kettle on and have a cup of tea”. There’s something soothing in enjoying a cup of tea. But is it just the comfort provided by an old ritual or is there something else?
Some people relax doing some kind of exercise. Kate, for instance, loves spinning. And although being screamed at while pedaling furiously might not be everyone’s idea of relaxation, the subsequent release of endorphines makes up for it. Another popular option is yoga (Maria can’t recommend it enough!). But repeating a chain of standing strength asanas isn’t the hardest part of it… meditating can be a real challenge too!
Research has found that meditation (practised by humans since ancient times, through different cultures) has a positive effect in mental well-being, bringing calm, clarity, and concentration. Sounds wonderful, right? If you find yourself struggling to focus, blaming the information overload (hello, Twitter) and wishing you could just finish what you started, maybe what you need is a healthy dose of alpha brain waves!
Our brains always have some level of electrical activity. Beta waves are predominant when we’re working on goal-oriented tasks. During meditation, our brain produces alpha waves, and this is believed to be the ideal state for learning.
Green tea lovers have an advantage, though, as there are other ways of producing alpha waves. Amino acid L-theanine appears naturally in green tea, particularly matcha. L-theanine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves. By mimicking the positive effects of meditation, it improves your concentration and learning performance and it protects against stress, thereby supporting the immune system. The result is a state of sustained mental clarity, ideal for finishing that assignment, preparing your exams or coming up with a battery of ideas for your next creative project. So now you know -don’t reach for the coffee, drink your greens instead!
Need to finish that assignment? Reach for the matcha!