Coffee. It’s crazy how so many people are addicted to it without even realizing it. It is the fuel to our hectic, stress-filled society. Without that one cup in the morning, we can barely lift our heads up off the desk and focus on what we’re doing. I totally get it. Nothing compares to waking up in the winter, cold mornings and grabbing a hot cup of coffee. However, people don’t realize that drinking caffeinated coffee single day does not directly increase your body’s energy metabolism. In fact, drinking caffeine actually suppresses it. This can lead to adrenal fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, even anxiety and depression.
Me Vs. My Anxiety
I have been struggling with anxiety my entire life. But within the past year and a half or so, I noticed it has gotten progressively way, way worse. Before, I would only get it when I had a test coming up, or a presentation, or things like that where it is only natural for a human to get anxious. Randomly, I began finding myself very anxious everyday for absolutely no reason at all. I developed social anxiety. I cancelled plans with friends last minute because I was scared of being in public. I buried my face in my phone to avoid speaking to strangers. I turned down invitations to birthday parties. I used the excuse of, “nothing’s wrong, I’m just tired.” I made up scenarios in my head of loved ones doing outrageous things. I would order take out instead of going out to dinner on a Friday night with my boyfriend. My anxiety slowly but surely was sucking me into it’s darkness. Literally.
Once I realized there was something wrong with my mental health, I made a vow to myself I would find out what was going on with myself without falling back onto pharmaceutical medications to fix my internal problems for me. (Disclaimer: if medications work for you, that’s great! I am just simply not someone who believes in taking any sort of pills for various, personal reasons.)
I Began Looking At My Lifestyle.
I continuously asked myself why my anxiety has gotten unbearable. Where was this coming from? What is the root of this problem? I thought it was maybe my birth control, so I spoke with my doctor and we switched my prescription. Nope. My anxiety was still really bad. I began working out, going for more walks, meditating, treating myself with shopping trips. All of those things made me happy, but it did not get rid of my overall day to day anxiousness.
So I decided to take a look at what was I eating or drinking during the day. For the most part, I eat pretty well so I knew it was not my eating habits. Then it clicked when I heard a friend tell me she cut caffeine out of her diet. “I bet it’s the coffee,” I said to myself. After that, I still continued to drink my coffee. But I did so because I wanted to start taking a closer look at how my body physically felt before I drank my coffee, as well as immediately after. Of course after drinking my coffee I felt awake and alert, but that was the only “benefit” I got out of my daily cup. On the down side; my chest was always tight, my mind was constantly going 394 miles per hour, my stomach felt bloated and sick, my shoulders were always tensed up, I was very emotional and negative. I was exhausted by 4:00 PM even if it was my day off and did nothing all day. The list could go on. After taking a step back and observing my physical/emotional/mental self after intaking caffeine every morning, I knew it was time to quit drinking coffee.
I Kicked Drinking Coffee To The Curb.
I began getting angry at myself because I realized that my body does not need coffee. My body wants coffee. That’s when I decided it was time to kick the s%*t out of this habit because I did not want to feel this way anymore. I knew it was going to be a difficult habit to kick, but I was determined to do it. Coffee is proven to be a stimulant to the central nervous system. If you’re regularly drinking caffeine on a daily basis like I was, your body becomes physically dependent on it. Aka, here comes the body withdrawals. Since my body was physically craving the caffeine I was feeding it every single morning, it began going through brutal withdrawals when I stopped giving it the coffee. For about two weeks, I suffered from unbearable migraines and headaches. Instead of giving in, I made sure I drank a TON of water, and had ibuprofen with me at all times. Usually I do NOT take ibuprofen, but since I really wanted to kick this habit- I took the 200 mg ibuprofen when I had the migraines or headaches. This would prevent me from being in so much pain that I would potentially cave in and buy a coffee to get my body to “shut up.”
The withdrawal symptoms blew over and I have truly never felt better in years. I am no longer anxious for no apparent reason at all. I genuinely feel so much better about myself knowing my body does not rely on coffee anymore. Believe it or not, I get out of bed easier now than I have in years since I’ve kicked my bad habit. My brain feels like someone took a Swiffer Duster and dusted away all the fogginess in my brain!
I have also struggled with gaining weight, I am naturally very thin. Sometimes I can be insecure about it because no matter how much I eat or how many squats I do, I can never get myself an Amber Rose, coke bottle body figure. Since I’ve quit drinking coffee, I have actually gained weight from my body not being so tensed up all the time. Your body burns calories unbelievably fast when your muscles are tense from being anxious all day- making it harder for people like me to gain weight naturally! Even though it isn’t a huge weight gain, it is still something. And those couple of pounds have made my confidence sky rocket.
Quitting drinking coffee has taken my life for a giant 180, and I am loving every minute of it. Don’t get me wrong, Dunkin Donuts will call my name a little bit some mornings and I’ll swing by for a decaffeinated coffee. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that! It’s just a yummy, tasty coffee minus all the jittery, anxiousness thrown inside. Life has been so damn good without drinking caffeinated coffee. My anxiety is basically GONE, I feel confident again, my skin feels phenomenal, and my body is not constantly exhausted.
Do you have anxiety and drink coffee?! If so, would you be down to trying to kick the coffee to the curb to see if it betters your lifestyle? I hope this blog post inspires someone to give it a shot. It worked for me, and I truly believe it may help others who are struggling with anxiety.