Apocalyptic TV shows and movies are so popular right now, giving us a glimpse into life without fossil fuels. It’s always generally a dark place, where the people have turned on each other and they may or may not be slowly turning into zombies. I have a theory that this same paralleled world would exist if we stopped producing caffeine — just mass chaos. We love caffeine THAT much. In fact, you’re probably wearing a T-shirt or drinking from a mug that reads “But first coffee” at this very moment.
However, this society that seems to celebrate caffeine now more than ever has been airing its grievances. Recent studies on the long-term effects have some people taking a second thought about reaching for soda instead of water or going for their fourth or fifth or sixth cup of coffee. And for some, that data is enough to finally say, “I’m done,” once and for all. It is even growing in popularity as a New Year’s Resolution. But how can you accomplish this feat to overcome such a widely-accepted addiction?
I happen to be living proof that it’s possible. I would like to say my choice to give up caffeine was due to a wellness epiphany. However, in truth, it came out of necessity for my day-to-day quality of life. I got to a point in my mid-twenties where I could no longer enjoy even just “a little” caffeine without facing repercussions in the form of migraines and nausea within the next few days. THAT’S how addicted I was. In the short time since this lifestyle adjustment, I’ve made a few observations that will help you quit more effectively.
1. Be informed.
Do your research. What non-drink items are you consuming that contain caffeine? Is the new supplement you want to try loaded with tea extracts? Is Excedrin your best friend like it was for me? Start to read labels and ask questions. Then give it all up.
2. Replace caffeine.
Replace those sofas and coffee with alternative beverages like water or herbal teas. These are liquids that not only curb your cravings by making you feel full, but have amazing health benefits. You could even eat some dark chocolate. (That’s right, I just told you to eat chocolate for your health.) Rich and high-concentrated cocoas have minute amounts of caffeine that may help you transition easier. Plus, it may be that extra bit of natural sugar that helps power you through the day.
3. Be patient.
You are not going to be able to give up caffeine overnight. Start out by decreasing your intake to reset your tolerance. It may take several weeks or months before you are able to pass up on Dr. Pepper, but if you stick it out for a few weeks, you will begin to reap benefits for your overall well-being. Remind yourself that you were designed to wake up and keep going on your own without outside dependency.
4. Be aware of other socially acceptable forms of addiction.
Cross-addiction is a real thing. What other substances do you turn to when life becomes hard? How often are you checking your social media or emails? Hey, I am right there with you. When everyone else is participating, it makes it so easy to join in. But we must take a higher road and live a life like no one else now, to live a life like no one else in the future.
If you are taking the challenge, tag us or use the hashtag #lifeindecaf so we can encourage you along the way!