“Take a chill pill” - the phrase that echoed through the school hallways back in 2003 when times were much simpler, Finding Nemo had just been released, Thierry Henry was at the height of his powers, and the biggest stress we had was which Pokemon cards we were going to find in the fresh deck we bought with our pocket money. Fast forward 16 years, the catchy comeback line has all but been forgotten, however, now with the responsibility of a job, mortgage, bills and everything else which isn’t Pokemon related, the genuine need for a magical chill pill has never been greater.
Stress is the quiet one that creeps up on you. Not as visible as Depression, not as debilitating as Anxiety, yet it affects more of us than both the two put together and can lead to fatally dangerous physical illnesses. So why does stress not get the attention it deserves? Unlike Anxiety & Depression, Stress is referred to as something you feel rather than something you have. It’s been categorised as an emotion and is very rarely spoken about as an illness. Because of this, society sees it as something we can control, and something we are expected to have under control. Life in 2019 is as fast-paced and competitive as it has ever been, there seems to be a queue of people waiting to replace you the moment you slip up at work or even in your relationship. Everything is getting more expensive, yet at the same time, everyone expects more for less. I’m getting stressed just writing this.
So how do we fight back? As much as I believe that one person can change the world, you probably don’t have the time right now and changing the world all sounds very stressful, so rather than change our outside environment, we must change from the inside. Something we have done for centuries is drink tea to relax and calm the mind and body, but what actually is it about tea which has this effect on us? The aroma? The warmth? Both of these do help but the real reason lies a little deeper. L-theanine is an amino acid extracted from the leaves of Camellias Sinensis (the sophisticated name for the common tea plant.) It triggers focus, concentration and relaxation allowing us to feel more level-headed and more capable of tackling the task at hand. For these reasons, it is used all over the world to help busy people manage their stress.
To feel the stress-busting benefits the human body requires more L-Theanine than a cup of tea is able to provide so people are going to the source and supplementing their diet with the pure amino acid in powder or pill form. This allows us to absorb up to 20x more than we would in a single cup of tea. It sounds like a lot but thanks to it having almost zero levels of dependence and tolerance this isn’t something that comes with a long list is side effects or warnings.