Caffeine and Anxiety are Linked, Who Knew?
I want to share this experience with anyone who may be struggling with anxiety - especially in these challenging times – as it may be a simple lifestyle change which removes those palpitations and weird panicky feelings.
I am a fit & healthy mature lady who has always been calm, rational, positive and happy. But a few years ago, I began suffering from anxiety. The sight of violence in a movie , reading something stressful or a confrontation of any sort would set off an awful feeling of dread within me. It’s hard to describe the exact feeling but it lasted a few ghastly seconds then faded away and repeated frequently every day and night. Awful!
I began waking up in the middle of the night too and in the morning with a sense of foreboding which was scary! It was entirely foreign to me to have such feelings and I put it down to “menopausal symptoms”.
Not wanting to resort to medication, I had several tests, stepped up my daily meditation practice to four times a day and lengthened my exercise routine/walks – but nothing was working. I continued thinking it was just menopausal stuff….until I put two-an-two together and researched caffeine-related anxiety. Although I’d generally stuck to only two cappuccinos a day (maximum three), I discovered that coffee is definitely the culprit – and for a week I tried decaf only. To my amazement, I felt like my old self again!
Since New Year’s Day, I’ve transitioned to two decaf coffees/day and it’s been pain-free with the exception of a few hours of neck and head pain the first 24 hours.
The rest of my hot beverages comprise rooibos with honey and lemon - or ginger tea with star anise … divine! Now, I’m living with a returned sense of beautiful calm and it’s great to be back to “normal”. It’s amazing!
Our bodies change as we age and things that didn’t upset our balance when we were younger can actually have an adverse effect on us …so if you’re in the same boat, trying giving caffeine a miss - it’s worth it.
Footnote: I do realise that decaffeinated products are not great due to the chemicals used for extraction but don’t think one or two cups a day can do much harm - and it’s a step up from that sense of dread which puts a damper on life. Rooibos rocks!
Susan Harwood, Writer, Photographer and Rooibos Rocks Fan!