#2 – Cut down on caffeine/sugar
If you are currently in the habit of taking in a lot of caffeine each day, going cold turkey could be a nightmare so, for now, just observe (write in your journal):
- What effect does caffeine have on you?
- How much caffeine do you take in between hot beverages and cold drinks such as an iced tea or a Frappuccino?
- Knowing that decaffeinated coffee still contains 3% caffeine, does it cause a negative reaction as well?
- What are your patterns? Do you drink caffeinated beverages mostly in the morning? For a pick-me-up in the afternoon? Are you still drinking them at night? All of the above?
Ideas for cutting down on caffeine:
- Once you start sleeping a little better, notice if you just don’t need as much caffeine to function.
- Even though green tea is caffeinated, some people find they don’t get as jittery as they do with coffee or black tea.
- Eliminate just one cup a day, preferably the one you would have had closest to bedtime. Give the body at least a week to acclimate before eliminating more. Keep journaling on the effects.
- Experiment with caffeine-free hot beverages such as herbal teas. There are many flavors from which to choose.
Speaking of Frappuccino’s, do you drink a lot of sugary beverages? You may not be aware of just how much sugar many drinks contain. Begin to educate yourself by becoming a label reader. Look up the sugar and caffeine content of drinks from places like Starbucks on their website:
50g of sugar is more than 4 TABLEspoons! Take a tablespoon measure out of the drawer so you can get a reality check on how much sugar that really is.
Notice if your high sugar intake is an attempt to soothe yourself on some level. Journal to begin to discover if you are using food to:
- Mask insecurities
- Act out on low self-esteem
- Cope with frustration
- Stuff down old traumas
Part of the yoga practice is learning that your Spirit is who you truly are – not anything external – and that is already absolutely perfect. When you can begin to apply this knowledge to your life, you can begin to take a different attitude about what you put into the body – the Spirit’s vessel.
For more info on this, I highly recommend the book, If The Buddha Came to Dinner: How to Nourish Your Body to Awaken Your Spirit.
In the next section, I will show how negative self-talk may be impeding your progress towards stopping panic attacks.
I had some dreams – they were clouds in my coffee1,