Meditation: Better than Coffee

Coffee lovers have a daily habit. Can you guess what it is? Yup, getting their fill of caffeine with a tall cup of coffee. While getting a buzz out of a cup is certainly convenient, quick, and effective in rousing your senses, it may pose some hazards on your health in the long run.

There are many conflicting reports about the effects of coffee. Some are positive while others are not quite encouraging. Latest studies about coffee lists longer life, lower risks for depression and suicide, a decreased risk for Type-2 diabetes and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease as some of its benefits. Coffee, however, contains acrylamide and cafestol. Both chemicals are under investigation with links to cancer and LDL (bad cholesterol). Intake of more than five cups a day induces insomnia, irritability, and restlessness. While too much of something is not a good thing, a bit of caffeine negatively affects pregnant women, and people with anxiety disorder or heart diseases.

While the jury is out on these unconfirmed yet damaging claims, it is just, but safer not to risk it if there are better alternatives available. Fortunately, there is one perfect solution for a coffee aficionado who is also health conscious. The answer is mindfulness meditation.

If it is to jumpstart your day that you consume coffee every morning, meditation is an energy booster that you should not miss doing every day. Taking just 20 minutes, morning meditation not only perks you up; it also gives you the opportunity to start your day with the right perspective. It preps you with a readiness that comes from being centred. If you want to be controlled and focused on your day ahead, try meditating after getting up in the morning before the world intrudes.

There are times in the day that you want to keep awake so you can finish your work and beat the deadline. A better alternative to gulping down coffee to stay alert and boost productivity is to do a power nap. This may sound counterproductive and a waste of time, but studies show that taking a quick 20-minute snooze really does improve productivity. Waking up refreshed probably contributes much to it. But since sleeping at work or during class is often not allowed, a more acceptable pick-me-up option would be to take a break and do some deep meditation or stretching exercises. This can melt away pressures and stresses and will leave you restored and raring to go again.

Many think that going for the coffee maker and taking a sip of caffeine can help them through these critical and stressful moments. The daily grind with work and school, however, forces those beating-the-clock instances to occur much too often than desirable. The reality is that deadlines happen but being always up on your toes artificially could render you irritable, jittery, and sleepless. Opting for body-and-mind friendly options like meditation is always the better choice.