I think I’m going to do a little series of things in my life that make me anxious! This time, it’s coffee. Unlike my last post, Crowds Makes me Anxious, this is more of a body chemistry thing than psychological. It’s been shown that anxiety is increased or aggravated by caffeine. There are days where it feels like I can’t get through the day without it, even though I know that the side of anxiety will come swiftly afterwards.
It’s become a habit, one that I’m not yet willing to put aside. I’ve done it before and I know that if I dump coffee, the physical anxieties I experience abate in equal measure. I continue to practice the skills my therapist has taught me in handling these moments of anxiety: deep breathing, thinking through a worst case scenario, journalling, walking, using fidget devices and re-directing my thoughts.
I’ve tried coloring, but it’s not for me. Meditation sometimes works, but I often find myself distracted quickly and easily. It has taken several years of trial and experimentation to figure out tricks and strategies for managing both the physical and mental sides of anxiety for me. When it’s physical, usually the more tactile skills I have work better. So using the fidget, distracting myself, walking, they all work. Journalling, thought re-direction, worst case scenario building, etc, they all work much better when I’m stuck in my head, worried about the future or worried about something that has happened and how people are judging me.
If you feel anxious, you might try getting off caffeine or at the very least reducing intake. It’s hard, it’s annoying, it’s a pain in the ass. But the benefits are pretty phenomenal!