Cup of tea ‘reduces stress’

New research shows that the simple act of putting the kettle on can significantly reduce stress levels

If you are feeling anxious, it really does help to put the kettle on.

Researchers at City University London have found that in times of crisis, the very act of making a cup of tea can help relieve stress..

The study looked at the stress levels of 42 volunteers and was backed up by the results of a poll by Direct Line of 3,000 men and women. Researchers found that although tea leaves contain stress-relieving ingredients, the symbolic associations we make between tea and psychological relief mean that just putting the kettle on is a calming experience.

The research focused on an experiment in which the volunteers were placed in a stressful scenario, after which 50% drank water, and 50% drank tea.

Results showed that those who did not receive tea after the event were 25% more anxious at the end of the experiment. Those who were given tea were actually 4% less stressed than at the beginning of the test.

Psychologist Dr Malcolm Cross of City University London told the Daily Mail: ‘Memory is cued by many things – taste, smell, images. I think we typically associate tea with relaxation and being looked after.’

He added, ‘Drinking tea – particularly during times of stress – is at the very core of British culture. This study shows the effects it has on our bodies and brains and may explain why we instinctively turn to tea in times of need.’

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