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Mental Health

Coffee May Be Contributing to Your Anxiety…

I think that it’s safe to say that if you are reading this article, you are a part of the coffee lover’s cult or are well aware of the culture. I have personally been a member for quite some time. The mere smell of roasted coffee beans gives me the warm fuzzies and sipping on my favorite drink is a well-integrated and essential step of my daily routine… or so I thought.

People often refer to college as “the best four years of their lives”, because there are just so many incredible things that go on in such a short amount of time. While I can confidently say that I absolutely LOVE it, I will not deny that with so many things going on, it can be stressful. 

For many people, stressful situations (maybe having a littttle too much on your plate, like me) can trigger anxiety. In fact, a survey presented by the American Psychological Association stated that 41% of college students experience anxiety. You are absolutely not alone if this is something you are going through. 

About a month ago, I met with my doctor to discuss my concerns with heightened levels of anxiety that I had been experiencing, and she suggested some changes that I could make to reduce it (that didn’t include changing my dosage of medication). Somethings were suggestions I would expect: proper sleep, meditation, talking out loud about stress, but what raised an eyebrow was her asking about my caffeine habits. 

My morning routine used to consist of a cup or two of coffee just after waking up, and as you may have gathered from the beginning of the article, it was something I never considered giving up… but I am officially 3 weeks in, and I have seen changes! 

I won’t sugar coat it, despite rarely having more than 2 cups a day, cutting coffee cold turkey led me to feel very tired and provoked headaches. I decided to switch from coffee to tea with a low caffeine level for the first week, which was a much easier transition. After the first week, I was only drinking decaffeinated tea and coffee (I didn’t want to lose the glorious smell of it brewing in my dorm). After the first 2 weeks, I noticed feeling much less anxious and sleeping better. 

I wouldn’t have expected that switching up my morning drink would bring me so much relief, but I am astonished! 

I know that it is hard, especially with the abundance of coffee shops around us, but the benefits may outweigh the adjustment it requires! 

Sources

Hello! My name is Kate, I am from Dallas, Texas and I will be graduating from CofC in the Spring of 2023. I am an international business major with a Spanish minor and a member of the CofC Sailing Team.
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