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C17 INTO AFGHANISTAN

How to win on the home front: Loose leaf tea and the warrior mindset

Serving one’s country is amongst the toughest jobs in the world. Dangerous conditions, being far from home as well as staring down the dangers of death and injury can take its toll. This is where the warrior mindset comes in. Broadly defined, the warrior mindset encompasses a sharpened mental acuity in the face of highly stressful situations. Obviously, mental toughness is a critical skill in making it through a war and getting back home safely. However, what happens when the war is over and it’s time to demobilize? How do soldiers transition back to facing a whole different set of challenges on the home front without losing their warrior mindset? Or let it overreact to the normal stresses of home life? The answer may surprise you: loose leaf tea. More on that later.

Coming home

“Discharge in Sight? Oh boy! You’ve had a rough time of it. You’ve fought hard and well. You’ve suffered and toiled. But now that’s over, or soon will be, and you’ll be back in the Good, Old U.S.A.” – from The Red Circle Guide for Soldiers, Sailor and Marines published by the War Camp Community Service in 1919.

From the earliest history of warfare, after doing their duty and proudly serving their country, soldiers (at least the lucky ones) have returned home to their family and loved ones. In the aftermath of battle, this is not always an easy transition to make. It’s one thing to exit the battlefield, yet it’s another thing to leave its legacy behind you. For some vets, the mental scars inflicted by war means the battle rages on beyond the warzone. This phenomenon repeats itself time and time again as subsequent new generations go off to war.

However, there is a way to help assuage the ravages of war using the very thing that helps soldiers do their job in the first place: the warrior mindset (and loose leaf tea, but more on that soon).

Maintaining mindset

The warrior mindset is not just about pure aggression and violence. It’s about overcoming adversity by quickly assessing situations and utilizing a set of psychological skills to quickly innovate the best course of action. The warrior mindset allows someone to be adaptive, persistent and highly effective in difficult circumstances. It is what allows military service personnel to continually put themselves in harm’s way and come out smiling. With that being said, you don’t have to be in the armed services to develop a warrior mindset as it is something that has been part of humanity for eons. And it is something that can be trained.

When you’re engaged on the home front, adopting a warrior mindset means that you won’t quit when things start getting hard. It means that you will do whatever it takes to fight for your family. It means being a leader. It means living your truth and growing in gratitude for the things that you have in your life: family, friends and your health.

Look, I need to get honest with you real quick. There is something you need to know about me. It wasn't until after I got out of the Army I realized I had suffered a lot due to my time in uniform. More often than not I found myself trying to drown my demons in drink. After a bit of a health scare, my doctor broke the news to me. I needed to give up the booze and get healthy. This is when I started to read and research and out about the amazing health benefits from drinking loose leaf tea.

Over the course of a year I replaced drinking whiskey with drinking loose leaf tea and got healthy in both body and mind.

The benefits of loose leaf tea on the mind

Throughout human history nearly every culture developed a tea drinking habit. Well known were the calming and rejuvenating effects of imbibing some freshly brewed loose leaf tea. Whether it was consumed to settle the mind, or aid in meditation, tea has long been revered for its relaxing and revitalizing qualities. Notwithstanding, science is only now catching up to be able to explain tea’s unique ability to lift our mood and improve focus.

So, when it comes to adopting a warrior mindset away from the battlefield, tea can help. Life is a battle sometimes. Misbehaving kids, the bills piling up and relationship issues can test our mental stamina and resolve. Going for a great tasting cup of loose leaf tea (instead of other less healthy beverages), is going to do two things. First it’s going to help settle our mind and calm the nerves so we can assess the situation properly. Next it’s going to lift our mood so we can see that there is always something to be grateful for in any given situation. And this is the warrior mindset: knowing that the difficulty will come and it will pass and you will remain steadfast. With that in mind, I think it’s time for a cup of tea.

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