Hi, My name is Alison, and I am a self proclaimed coffee addict- or at least I was until about 3 weeks ago.
Now just so you understand how deep my love of coffee runs: I have a coffee bar in my house. I own a pour over, french press, Turkish coffee set, a Nespresso, and too many mugs. I was the friend who was Always up for coffee, and I never turned a cup down. My childhood favorite ice cream was Coffee flavored, and I drank my coffee black. I LOVE coffee.
So how on earth would this self proclaimed Coffee Addict Accidentally give up coffee?
Let me Share with you my Story.
In addition to being a long time coffee lover, I am also a lifetime long anxiety struggler.
My anxiety has always been a struggle, but up until 3 weeks ago, I didn’t realize (or didn’t want to admit) that my coffee habit had anything to do with it.
Now let’s be clear, I’m not saying that Coffee was the *cause of my anxiety, but that it contributed to it.
For a while now, I had been noticing a trend: my anxiety seemed to be worse after drinking coffee. At first, I thought perhaps I didn’t have enough food in me, so I began eating with my coffee. Nothing changed.
So I tried giving up coffee for a day.
And I noticed something.
Though my anxiety was still there, I didn’t have the racing thoughts, tight chested, heart thumping out of my chest anxiety that I was used to fighting.
I wanted it to be a fluke, so I tried again.
Same Result. My anxiety was there, but it was more subtle and easier to manage.
So on Day 3, I had my usual morning cup. This time, I was a jittery, anxious mess. So I went 2 more days without drinking any.
My next cup, gave me a raging headache so quickly I couldn’t even finish it.
That had never happened to me before. It was like my body was saying “Don’t you dare go back, I like it so much better this way.”
And so here we are, 3 weeks later, and I’ve accidentally given up coffee.
I have had it once since the raging headache, hoping desperately something had changed. It hadn’t. My body is still anti-coffee. But it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I have re-discovered my love for hot tea and found a way to replace the energy I desperately sought from the caffeine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my coffee. It was like a warm blanket on a chilly Autumn afternoon. And yes, I’ve tried Decaf, but it’s just not the same.
So while I hope that someday, I can return to enjoying my hot morning cup, I can’t deny that life is much more peaceful when I don’t have my mind and body running a hundred miles a minute. And that I don’t miss a bit.
If you liked this post, Check out this post on Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind!
Have you ever stopped to consider why we as a society feel almost Perpetually OVERWHELMED?
I’ll argue for a moment that part of it, has to do with the fact that we are Constantly Triggered. And many times, we don’t even know it’s happening. All we know is that we were having a somewhat good day and now, almost suddenly, we are anxious, tense, and irritable.
Living in a world where we are constantly triggered is EXHAUSTING.
Here are some ways I combat this and TAKE BACK MY PEACE OF MIND.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY
Before eliminating triggers, we must first identify them. The simplest way I’ve found to do this is by taking a moment when I notice I’m stressed/irritable/overwhelmed to pinpoint when it happened.
Was I in a relatively good mood 10min ago, if so, what happened in the last 10min? Did I scroll facebook? Receive a phone call or text? Hear a loud noise outside?
Make a mental note (or write it down if you’re the journaling type) and keep an eye out for patterns.
STEP 2: ELIMINATE
Once you know what a particular trigger is, it’s time to Eliminate. Now this is often easier said than done. And it usually takes a LOT of discipline.
Sometimes, this means deleting an app, turning off notifications, or ultilizing the “unfollow” button.
Not every trigger is easy to eliminate, there are certain triggers we don’t have control over (hellooo Tiny Humans!), so we may need to get creative or else find ways to help us COPE.
STEP 3: COPING
There is a lot that can be said about this and like Triggers, everyone’s means of Coping look different.
What is most important is that we find ways to cope that are both HEALTHY and EASILY SUSTAINABLE. For example, If you way of coping is taking a bath, while that may be healthy, it may not be easily sustainable if you’re triggered in public, or at a time when you can’t slip away.
Your Peace of Mind is in YOUR HANDS.
If you’re interested in more encouragement, make sure to follow me on Instagram: Intentionally_AlisonStrange
Have you figured out yet that I’m a huge fan of “simple!?”
If something is too complicated or takes too much time, I just won’t keep it up.
So, in my quest for Quick and Uncomplicated, I’ve come up with 4 personal habits of mental health that are so Simple, I’ve been able to keep them up even amidst an out-of-state move.
Hello, exercise that doesn’t really feel like exercise! I rarely have time for formal exercise (not to mention I despise most types), but one thing that gets my body moving, looses up my muscles, calms my breathing, and sets me off on the right track for the day is a simple 5 minute morning stretch. Sometimes it’s in the quiet of the morning by myself, most of the time its with my 1 1/2 hanging on me and my 3 year old demanding food. It’s all good.
Ok, this one I’ll admit took me a while to actually try because it sounded way too “out there” but I’m kicking myself now for not starting it sooner. The fact of the matter is that our brain is a powerful tool and if we spend a majority of the time wiring our brain to complain and sulk, that’s what we are going to do. Taking the time to re-wire our brains by consciously thinking (and even better speaking) things that are hopeful, positive, and optimistic can help rewire our brains so it becomes 2nd nature.
3. Deep Breaths
Taking deep breaths slows down our heart rate and blood pressure which is vital when the cortisol is pumping and we just can’t seem to slow down. My favorite way to do this is accompanied by a “scent tent” with a drop of essential oil. Basically, I put a drop of calming oil in my hands, rub them together, cup them over my nose and mouth and take 3 deep breaths in and out. It takes less than 30seconds and can completely reset my mood/mindset.
Physical touch is important, especially if you are like me and it’s one of your love languages. Never underestimate the power of a quick cuddle with your partner, child, or pet!