Put down the cup of joe
I used to love coffee… mochas were my favorite; I still miss them, mostly the chocolate 😢 but on my journey to inner balance and control of my anxiety, I realized that caffeine was a HUGE trigger for me.
Unfortunately, caffeine triggers and stimulates our fight or flight response which is also what we experience when we’re in a panic attack or anxiety episode. Until recently there wasn’t much thought to the effects or contribution caffeine can have with anxiety disorders. Too much can lead to a full-blown anxiety episode. Once I drank over what my threshold was, and let us be honest this was not a lot, I would feel like I was dying.
Caffeine and Anxiety
Exactly how I felt when I was in panic mode. Unable to stay still, my heart was racing, feeling shaky, and my throat slowly tightening. As you can imagine this is not a fun feeling. Then of course, once you’re deep into your thoughts you think this time you may actually be dying your actual anxiety kicks in. Now you’re fighting off the effects of the caffeine AND anxiety. Bonus points if this all happens before you walk out the door and take on the day. I admit it took me a while to put two and two together, also being in denial that I even had an anxiety disorder delayed the realization.
So, Changes were made
After researching what can trigger anxiety that’s when I started to mentally take notes on the days that I had less or no caffeine. I quickly realized that I had to cut out the java bean cold turkey 😬. It was very difficult for the first few weeks to learn how to function and stay alert but then I started to find tea and eating healthier. I stuck to caffeine-free tea for a solid 6 months. My daily panic attacks were not as intense as before, and sometimes I’d make it a whole day without feeling anxious, YAY. But alas I still missed my Saturday morning java.
So, as any sensible person, I felt like I could try to reintroduce coffee back into my daily life. I only gave myself the option to drink a cup in the morning, you know to help wake me up. Well, this lasted about a week. After day three I realized I was starting to feel more anxious and on day five I realized I made a huge mistake. The stress was back, restlessness, and an overwhelming sense of always being on edge. So back to tea only, it took a few days to start to feel ‘normal’ again.
How are we feeling now?
Now fast-forward to a year and a half later and tea is now life! I wouldn’t take a sip of coffee if you paid me (well make me an offer). I’ve added many other tools to my belt to manage my anxiety and I do add in low-dose caffeine tea in the morning sometimes.
Usually, nothing more than 20MG per serving and I take a good hour or two to drink it. I stretch out the cup by filling it back up halfway through. Keep in mind your average cup of coffee at home has about 100MG and even more in your local or chain coffee shop. There are some times when I do feel the jitters coming on, usually if I’ve sipped my cup of tea too fast. If this happens to you, I suggest agua and lots of it to flush out your system. Exercise also does wonders I’ve found, even some fast pace yoga can do the trick.
How to find what works
As always, find what works for you. Unfortunately, when finding ways to manage your anxiety there will be a fair amount of trial and error. The best piece of advice I can give is to be patient and if you are trying a new routine or cutting something out – give it time. For me, within two weeks I can start to feel if it has lessened my anxiety. By a month I know for certain but everyone is different so don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit longer. I’d love to hear what tricks you have found to manage your anxiety! Let me know in the comments😀
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Wishing you love, light and inner peace babes ✌🌈✨💜
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