Caffeine and anxiety are not friends

Diana was the Content Developer at mindyourmind for over nine years. She enjoys balance, yoga and wellness. You may find these topics highlighted in her posts, along with mental health in the news, stigma reduction and anything else relevant or inspirational. Her fav quote is "you can't get what you want if you don't ask for it!".

Just thought I’d write a brief blog about caffeine. Basically, I can’t touch it. I have to avoid it at all costs. I have learned through trial and error that caffeine gives me anxiety. Badly. A coffee is the worst, but a strong tea can also cause anxiety just the same.
 
It doesn’t matter how tired I am, the alternative is much worse. If I have any caffeine, I get jittery inside, nervous and have the impending feeling of doom that something is terribly wrong. I become nervous about talking to anybody and feel on the verge of panic. All of this for no other reason than simply – caffeine! Not kidding. I could be having a great day and not be feeling any of those things otherwise. A little caffeine and BAM!
 
One time about 4 or 5 years ago, before I realized how much of an enemy caffeine is to me, I ate one of those giant caffeine balls from the gym. They’re like big gob stoppers or sour ball gums but bigger and made of all caffeine. I was laying on my couch, heart beating out of my chest, freaking out and panicking for no good reason. Needless to say, that was a very bad idea and probably when I realized that the stuff does NOT like me.
 
So if you have anxiety, and you drink caffeine, whether it’s in coffee, tea or pop form, I would seriously consider doing an experiment – cut out the caffeine completely for 1-2 weeks and see if you feel any different. If you notice you’re not anxious anymore, maybe you should really consider cutting out caffeine from your life.
 
If you’re saying to yourself, “No Way!”, because you’re relying on caffeine for a boost in energy, here are some things you can replace it with:
 
  1. Vitamin B12 and Ginseng are natural energy boosters (check with your doctor first to make sure these are right for you before using though).
  2. Ensure you are getting enough sleep. If your sleeping habits are decent and you are generally healthy, you likely don’t need caffeine for energy (here’s an article on Good Sleep Habits).
  3. Exercise can feel super tiring and exhausting if you’re just starting out, but once you get into a routine, exercise will actually give you MORE energy!
  4. Eat healthy. Cut out the junk and sugar that might be making you sluggish in the first place and replace these with healthy foods like lots of fruits and veggies (check out Dietitians of Canada for info on healthy eating).
  5. Water. Believe it or not, drinking water first thing in the morning (and throughout the day too) is a great energy booster. Your body wants it and needs it. And it’s really the healthiest drink for you (WebMD gives you 6 reasons to drink water).
  6. If you must have caffeine, maybe try limiting your intake. Instead of 3 coffees a day, have 1. Or instead of coffee, have tea.

Have any other caffeine-free tips on what helps you boost your energy? Share them in our comments below.

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