We all love our morning coffee —some may say it’s a way of life. Coffee is a go-to drink when people feel overwhelmed about any situation. It contains a psychoactive drug which is associated with increased productivity. Many people experience anxiety and panic attacks daily, and a cup of coffee can help us set a routine, recuperate and concentrate on the task at hand.
But have you ever wondered why coffee (when drunk in moderation) is so calming? Research into coffee and it’s impact on anxiety show a direct link between the drink and our mental health. Notably, Cuban coffee has positive reviews on increasing a person’s mental wellbeing and creating a productive mood.
Why do we get stressed?
People can feel stressed out due to a number of reasons. It may include meeting an important presentation deadline at work, studying for a difficult exam or just coping with being a working mom and handling kids. The metabolism of your body is decreased if you keep thinking about the negative aspects of your life and performance anxiety kicks in. A short-term way to combat these feelings is an intake of caffeine to temporarily take you out of these struggles. A study done on mice shows a reduction in behaviours stipulated by anxiety. The research is still not conclusive as tested on human beings, but it gives an indication in the areas of future research to tackle the relationship of coffee and anxiety.
Why does coffee calm us down?
Interviews with individuals in different fields of life were done to assess their consumption of coffee and its effectiveness in the daily routine. Some of them suggested that it increased their senses by giving them a feeling of energy and euphoria. Individuals in their early twenties said that consumption of coffee reduced their reaction less panicky in difficult situations. Others said that they never cared about the relationship of both coffee and anxiety but they enjoyed the taste of the beverage.
The anatomy behind the consumption of coffee and anxiety is that it helps the brain to produce a compound known as dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. This area is responsible for mood regulation of a person. The anxiety control section of the brain called the amygdala is also flooded by dopamine with drinking a cup of coffee.
Anxiety is a trigger to our neurotransmitter of the brain that there is something wrong or threatening to happen to our body. Our nerve system instantly goes into a fight or flight response which consumes extra oxygen and nutrients of our body leaving us drained. Moderate amounts of coffee consumption release the load from your body by producing dopamine and giving a message to the brain that the fight mode is over. On the contrary, if you consume too much coffee it can lead to trigger all the above-mentioned symptoms and maybe deteriorate your mind with the passage of time.
If the symptoms of anxiety are increased, they take you towards the road of depression.
A ten-year study on more than 50,000 older women suggested that more consumption of coffee led to a decreased risk of depression. For instance, the women who drank two to three cups of coffee in a day showed 15% decrease in their condition whereas the women who drank around four or more cups showed 20% improvement in their overall health. This study gives a consolidated clue on how coffee is really helping us cope with the stresses of life.
We all know that coffee can alter our mood—which is why it’s important we drink it in moderation. A Ssudy conducted by the Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association on psychiatric symptoms has concluded that coffee can only address anxiety issues of mild nature. For instance, if you are stressed about a situation at work, a cup of coffee will enable you to focus on the problem.
For all its perks, coffee cannot be used as a drug to cure depression or mental illnesses in a person. At times, it disturbs the metabolism of the body of a mentally ill individual by increasing the psychotic symptoms in the patient. Therefore it is imperative that you seek medical help if you are suffering from recurring symptoms of depression and anxiety. And if you experience withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and headaches, then it’s an indicator you need to pull back and see your doctor. Because while coffee in moderation is good for our mood, too much can lead to caffeine addiction.
Just when we thought we couldn’t love coffee enough, we find out it helps remedy daily stress. So take that liquid gold and enjoy the aroma as you start the day. But remember, your reaction to coffee depends on your anatomy. So, if you are sleep deprived or it heightens your sense of panic, hold back.
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