It sounds crazy to drink coffee while struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, right? Not exactly.
A new study done on coffee drinkers who suffer from anxiety showed that a cup of Joe actually helped them relax more and improved their mood instantly.
How caffeine affects your anxiety levels
In his article ‘Can coffee help anxiety?, doctor Peter Bongiorno found out that coffee decreases our anxiety levels by increasing our dopamine. See, when you drink caffeine, your dopamine levels go up, which means we are able to focus more on positive experiences.
The researcher believes that those with anxiety (and especially social anxiety) have low dopamine levels, and that’s why coffee can help them. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of falling in love for the first time. It is also important in feeling happy, motivated, and rewarded about something (instead of scared).
How much coffee is good?
Anything over the recommended amount of two cups per day is too much. The writers at Calm Clinic also believe that coffee doesn’t have a negative effect on anxiety and can even help those who struggle with it.
However, they do recommend no more than four cups per day, without any added ingredients (sugar or creamers).
Your ability to focus
According to a study published on the US National Library of Medicine, coffee increases our ability to focus. One disadvantage of having anxiety is the difficulty of focusing on complex activities. For example, work tasks won’t be carried out well (or at all) if we are extremely anxious.
An anxiety symptom that is quite uncomfortable is depersonalization. During depersonalization, we see reality in a blur, or a fog. People around us disappear and we are left with our worried thoughts and scary physical symptoms (heart racing, hyperventilation, muscle stiffness, dizziness, etc).
When we have that cup of Joe, our attention and productivity increases. Therefore, drinking coffee helps to keep the depersonalization symptoms at bay.
All in all, drinking coffee has positive effects on your mood, even though you might struggle with anxiety. However, make sure you don’t exceed the recommended amount of two to four cups a day. That way you won’t become overwhelmed or irritable. Or don’t drink it at all if it makes you feel anxious.
Do you like coffee and does it affect your anxiety ? Leave a comment bellow.