Few times are as pleasant and comfortable as those when you gather with your friends for a good cup of coffee or tea. Any problems you have soon drift away.
Believe it or not, having that cup of coffee or tea is no longer just a ritual that’s rooted in our culture – there are benefits of coffee and spending time with friends that are good for the brain and your emotions as well.
If you’ve never stopped to think about that, we’ll tell you more in today’s article and invite you to engage in this healthy practice that combines three amazing ingredients: coffee, laughter, and good friends.
The social aspects of coffee
Coffee is a stimulant, and for centuries has been an essential part of daily life.
We’ve covered all the benefits coffee can have for your body many times: it wakes you up in the morning, improves cognitive abilities, gives you energy, and even takes care of the liver.
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But it’s possible that you’ve never stopped to think about the curious “social component” of this dark beverage that is so beloved by humankind. Let’s find out more.
A hot drink and good company
Here’s an example. You’ve just finished work and it hasn’t exactly been a good day. Stress, worries, and frayed nerves have resulted in an excess of cortisol, norepinephrine, and noradrenaline levels in your bloodstream, which can alter many of your body’s basic functions.
- Your heart is racing, your stomach hurts, you’re tired, and your mind feels slow. Before you leave for home, however, you call up a friend to meet you for a drink in a café.
- You order a coffee and slowly begin a pleasant conversation. Any warm beverage has a calming effect on the body, relaxing your breathing and the nerves. Your headache goes away.
- Coffee and tea are also mild stimulants. This will help you focus on communicating with your friend. Without even realizing it, you start to share your worries.
- A hot drink relaxes the muscles, while caffeine stimulates the mind to be more receptive, communicative, and open to positive emotions.
- As you share your first laugh with your friend, the endorphins do the rest of the work: you start feeling better and your problems suddenly seem more relative.
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Coffee and friends: how to be “present”
We live in a fast-paced world that’s always demanding more. It’s easy to be more focused on what you need to do in an hour or the following day than what you’re doing in this very moment.
The ritual of drinking coffee is a therapeutic exercise in “being there.” Nothing else matters and you can allow yourself to simply enjoy the beverage, the conversation, your company, and laughter.
This is important to keep in mind.
The power of emotional anchors
Here’s another interesting point. Emotional anchors are specific moments that your brain classifies as positive and enriching for storage in your memory, to be called upon during difficult times.
- Let’s look at another example. You’ve just had a great time with your friends over coffee. You talked about everything: you laughed, cried, and gave sound advice.
- All of those mixed emotions stay in your brain and create anchors, moments that you can recall tomorrow if your day doesn’t go so well.
- It’s enough just to remember those moments that are always worth repeating, because that’s where you find the most rewarding and simple happiness.
Good times have more power than the bad ones
Although it might sometimes seem like the opposite is true, the fact is that your brain “stores” positive and pleasant moments to fight off the bad ones. Positive aspects are more easily integrated into your memory than negative ones, because it helps you better adapt and move forward in life.
- Bad things can easily trap you. That’s why it’s a good idea to accept your failures, losses, and mistakes, and then move on to avoid letting that dark shadow hold on to you for long periods of time.
- Something as simple and positive as a visit with friends to drink coffee and talk about the experiences of the day can be one of the best exercises for the mind and heart that you can practice.
These things will stay in your bank of positive experiences to draw encouragement, strength, and energy when things don’t go your way.
So tell us…have you met with your friends for a coffee today?