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How to enjoy coffee without being addicted? It also applies to other addiction too……

Many people nowadays drink many cups of coffee daily without really tasting or appreciating their drinks. One of my friends drinks up to five cups of coffee each day. One day, she told me she decided to quit drinking coffee totally for health benefits. I asked her if she really enjoys the five cups of coffee she drank each day. She admitted that she was unable to fully enjoy them as she always drank them while working or doing something else.

The alertness generated by coffee drinking is rewarding for us. The caffeine in coffee will block the adenosine receptor of the brain that can reduce our feeling tiredness. It can also stimulate the release of more natural stimulants, such as dopamine, which is related to our reward system in the brain.  If drinking coffee is related to the reward system, how come my friend cannot enjoy her coffee during excessive drinking? Does she really need to quit drinking coffee totally?

I told her that if she learns how to get back the enjoyment of her coffee, she can reduce the amount of drinking and still be able to enjoy one or two cups per day.  She can simply try to be more aware during her drinking instead of giving drinking totally. What I mean is to concentrate while she is drinking the coffee and be curious at the aroma, taste, body and colour of the coffee she is drinking. She may also be more aware of the increase in alertness after drinking the coffee.  In this way, we are fully aware of our experience and can intensify our enjoyment of drinking the coffee. By doing so, we will feel more satisfied after drinking one cup of coffee and be able to control ourselves more from excessive drinking.

The main point here is to concentrate and be curious in what we are doing and we can enjoy the activity more. As a result, we feel more satisfied after the activity and are less likely to be addicted to it. In this way, we can have a less drastic option to deal with our addiction.  It applies to other types of addiction too.

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