How Coffee is Stealing Your Life Right Now and How to Stop Immediately
It may seem unfair coming from a “tea person” to tell you to quit coffee. But hear me out.
Before I was a “tea person,” I was addicted to coffee. When I get out of my bed in the morning, the first thing I do is hit the power button on the water kettle. I drink solely black coffee for a while, then start to add sugar and milk. By 2 in the afternoon, I felt a massive dip in my energy level and need another dose.
If you are reading this post, you probably already feel something is wrong in your gut. After all, everyone drinks coffee. My parents drank a whole pot of coffee before they even get out of their bed. And their lifestyle is not rare. Most people can’t function well without coffee; I was one of them.
The day I seriously decided to quit coffee, I was stuck at the doctor’s office at 2 pm. I felt the urge to leave and find the nearest Tim Horton’s. The next hour and a half was absolute hell. I couldn’t sit still; all I could think of was how awful that I was stuck there and how awesome if I could grab a cup of coffee right now.
If you wonder whether or not you have an addiction, take the element out of your life for a week and see if you will miss it. Most people will probably feel the impact of coffee within one day.
“But what’s the harm? It’s just coffee.”
I used to think, what’s the big deal? One cup of coffee won’t hurt. I didn’t realize how much coffee is putting a toll on my energy level and negatively impacting my life.
Why is Coffee Bad for You
Have you ever feel groggy in the morning and have a hard time getting out of bed? No matter how hard you try, no matter how many snoozes you hit, getting up feels like the most challenging task in the morning. Coffee might be there to blame. The more coffee you drink, the more you are training your brains to depend on coffee to wake up. Our body has a natural rhythm that aligns with the sun. By using a stimulant, we are essentially numbing our central nervous system to regulate on its own. Over time, our body becomes accustomed to outside help and become unable to control itself effectively.
I was wasting a lot of time hitting snooze buttons, and I wasted a lot of mental energy in the morning where I could use for creative work.
But that’s not the worst part.
Our life’s work depends on how much energy we have. If we are energetic, we can accomplish much more than if we are tired. That seems like a no-brainer, right? But why are we still so addicted then? Smoking cigarettes in the hospital used to be a social norm. Using a stimulant like coffee is also a social norm today. It’d be weird if you didn’t smoke back in the 70s because everyone did. But today, it would be strange if you do. The same goes for coffee. It’s weird to not drink coffee nowadays because almost everyone does.
Coffee withdrawal also impairs our functionality. People may argue that: well, as long as we don’t miss a dose, we should be fine then. But the argument is not whether you shall skip a dose. If something is causing you to second guess your relationship with your wife and hate your life, maybe it’s time to cut it out completely.
I am not saying coffee is all bad. I still enjoy a cup of coffee once in a while. But I don’t depend my mental clarity on it anymore. The key is dependence. The same goes for social media, shopping, sex, drug, etc. Any stimulant in excess is harmful.
So How Do You Quit Coffee
The week I decided to quit coffee was the worst. We (my partner and I) didn’t have the gut to go cold turkey, so we started on decaf. This was great because we still enjoy the taste of coffee, so it was not so painful. By reducing the amount of caffeine we take, we felt the pain was less severe when we decided to toss out the coffee bag.
We Failed Initially
We probably tried to quit more than 3 times. Each time we were getting near victory, one of us would crack and decide to have a coffee cup in the morning. We even drove to coffee shops a couple of times when we realize we were out of coffee. Each time we started over, and finally, one day, we were able to quit altogether.
What to Drink Instead
I don’t know about you, but I still enjoy a cup of warm beverage in the morning while reading a book.
We tried a ginger drink recommended by the meditation center we visit, but that was still not ideal because of the sugar content. Then I turned to tea.
A regular cup of coffee has 7 times more caffeine than a cup of green tea. Tea provides relaxed alertness. The cool thing about tea is that even you become “excessive” and have two cups in a row, your heart is not going to jump out of your chest. I generally fast in the morning and drink tea till lunch. I don’t know if I would be able to do that with coffee since it’s so acidic.
If you are even more hardcore than me, you could try to cut caffeine out of your life completely. Herbal tea is fantastic. You can even DIY your own herbal tea at home.
I Still Miss Coffee
Once in a while, I still have a cup. I still miss coffee. But I think I missed more of the mornings when it was so peaceful. I had my book in one hand and coffee in another. I still miss coffee, but I don’t miss the tiredness. I miss the memory, but I don’t miss the coffee breath.