Coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world (after petroleum). More than 50 percent of Americans drink coffee everyday — three to four cups each, more than 330 million cups a day and counting. www.cbs.com
Each morning, around 11 am or so, I make my way to the kitchen and pour myself a 4th cup of coffee for the morning, adding a couple of spoonfuls of sugar and some milk. I don’t eat breakfast, my coffee IS my breakfast!
Such was the start of most of my days until after my meltdown in July. I know now this routine was wreaking havoc on my adrenaline system. So much caffeine and sugar is not good for a healthy person, and for someone like me who was dealing with major anxiety issues, it can be even more harmful.
After my meltdown and during my first month or 2 of recovery, I still continued the coffee habit, as I didn’t realize how it played into the mix. During this time I was on several medications, one of which was for anxiety, as needed. It seemed though, that it was “needed” everyday by 1:00 pm. As I was beginning to feel better in other ways (my depression, my energy levels) I wanted to try and wean off the anxiety meds except for extreme situations. I finally put 2 and 2 together and thought the caffeine may be a triggering the anxiety. I made a decision…
wean off caffeine.
Notice I didn’t say wean off coffee! I love coffee! I just needed to switch to decaf and see if it had an affect on me.
How I weaned off caffeine-
-Make pot of coffee but substitute 1 scoop of decaf for 1 scoop of regular.
-Over a week to 10 days, adjust this slowly til you get to the point of ALL decaf.
-Be aware that even decaf coffee has some caffeine
-Found some herbal teas that have no caffeine
-I also reduced the sugar I put in my coffee
-If soft drinks are your “drug of choice” try the caffeine free alternative.
After about 2 weeks I realized that my anxiety level had greatly decreased. I no longer had the 1:00 panic attack that necessitated medication. And now it has been about 6 weeks and I feel so much better than I did! It makes me feel stronger and more confident that I was able to pinpoint something that was a major trigger and be able to relieve it. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever have caffeine again*, I just know that I cannot have it be a major part of my intake for the day.
*I have been able to have a Coke every now and again without issue.
If you deal with anxiety on a regular basis, you may want to review your regular habits that may be contributing to it. Your diet can have an impact too, but I will discuss that in another post!