I find it really, really hard to give up coffee.  I asked the angels to help.

Me

Coffee is what gets me out of bed in the mornings!  When I wake up, I think about getting coffee and I walk to the shop for it before I do anything else.  The trouble is, when I have the coffee, quite often I find it hard to relax.  I find that my mind is racing and I cant concentrate.  But I am addicted to the buzz!  It is as if I don’t want to be relaxed, I want to be jumpy!  Can you help?

 

A

 

Firstly, may we say that you are most definitely not alone in this predicament!  A great many people find themselves in this same situation, liking the ‘buzz’ that they get from coffee, wanting it, craving it and yet not really liking it.  And of course we are delighted to help!

 

Can you begin, firstly by describing what it is about coffee or more specifically about the thought of coffee that gets you out of bed in the mornings?

 

Me

 

I think I like the kick that it gives me.  It is a feeling of excitement, at first.  I like to feel excited, and if my life is not very exciting, if there is not a lot happening, it gives me that sense of a buzz.  It makes my heart beat faster, it is almost like falling in love.  It makes me want to do things and go places.  It gives me enthusiasm.  When I drink it, I quite often whizz through boring stuff like washing the dishes and cleaning the house.  Sometimes it gives me ideas too, although generally not in a very focussed way, just lots of ideas jumping all over the place.

 

A

 

And so, what exactly is the problem?  What is it that you do not like about coffee?

 

Me

 

Sometimes, the coffee makes me anxious and jumpy.  It also makes it difficult to concentrate on one thing and difficult to relax.  And when I stop drinking it for a few days I get the most ferocious headache imaginable!  And also, if I drink it at night sometimes I cant sleep.

 

A

 

And so, what is it that you would like from us?

 

Me

 

I don’t know.  I don’t know if I want to give it up because I do like it.  I just wonder if it is good for me to drink it?  And also I wonder if I could get that same sense of excitement without drinking it?

 

A

 

These are several different questions.  Only you can decide if you want to give up drinking coffee.  In order to give something up, there is generally a perceived benefit from the ‘not having’ of the thing in question.  For example, people tend to succeed in giving up cake only because they see a benefit in consuming less sugar and fat.  In your case, we do not see that you have convinced yourself that the problems with coffee outweigh the benefits!

 

As for your second question is it good for you to drink it?  Perhaps the answer to this question is not yes or no, but yes sometimes and no, sometimes not?  Perhaps there are times when coffee can be a pleasant stimulant for you and times when it is not appropriate?  Have you thought about this possibility?

 

Me

 

Interesting.  Yes, some days it is perfectly fine, I get a buzz, but I can still do everything I want to do, and when it wears off I am perfectly happy.  And some days, if I am tired or anxious it makes me more tired and anxious.

 

A

 

You say that sometimes when you drink coffee you find it hard to relax.  Might we suggest that the inability to relax may be linked to a desire not to relax?  Perhaps the state of relaxation that you aspire to is not the state that you think of, when you think of not having the coffee?  Do you understand?  Is there a possibility that when you think of not being stimulated or excited, you do not like the idea?

 

Me

 

I think you may be onto something there.  I think I associate not having the coffee with a feeling of boredom, or of things being dull and uneventful.  Maybe I don’t think of being relaxed as an entirely desirable state!

 

A

 

And yet, there are times when you do enjoy being relaxed?

 

Me

 

Yes, very much.  After a yoga session, or when I am sun bathing or meditating, I love the feeling of being totally relaxed.

 

A

 

And at those times when you love to feel relaxed, would you want to drink coffee?

 

Me

 

No, not at all.  At those times, I am perfectly happy just as I am.

 

A

 

The secret to not wanting something is generally to be found in wanting something different.  If you can take pleasure in being relaxed, you will not want to be stimulated.  If you concentrate on finding ways to enjoy relaxation, you will find that you have no need to worry about wanting coffee, because the desire for coffee disappears all by itself.  Might we suggest that rather than worrying about whether or not you are addicted to coffee, you concentrate instead on enjoying activities that are relaxing?  In this way, you are most likely to find a balance between stimulation and relaxation.

 

Me

 

That is very good advice!  Thank you!

speaking suppers

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