The Benefits of Coffee with Friends
Few things are as pleasant and comfortable getting together with friends for a nice cup of coffee or tea. Your problems drift right away. Believe it or not, that experience is more than just a cultural ritual – there are real emotional, psychological benefits to getting coffee with friends.
If you’ve never stopped to think about it, we’re here to tell you some more about it! We also want to encourage you to start getting the benefits from this healthy habit with three great ingredients: coffee, laughter, and good friends.
The social aspects of coffee
Coffee is a stimulant, and has been an essential part of daily life for centuries.
We’ve talked about the physiological benefits of coffee many times: it wakes you up in the morning, improves cognitive abilities, gives you energy, and can even care for your liver.
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But it’s possible that you’ve never stopped to think about the strange “social component” of this dark drink 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 lead to an excess of cortisol, norepinephrine, and noradrenaline levels in your bloodstream. These changes can alter many of your body’s basic functions.
- Your heart races, your stomach hurts, you’re tired, and your mind feels slow. But before you leave for home you call up a friend to meet you for a drink in a café.
- You order a coffee and slowly begin a pleasant conversation. Warm beverages have a calming effect on the body, relaxing your breathing and nerves. Your headache goes away.
- The caffeine in coffee and tea is also a mild stimulant. That means they can 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 makes the mind 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.
Coffee with 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 the present moment.
The ritual of drinking coffee is a therapeutic exercise in “being here.” Nothing else matters and you can allow yourself to simply enjoy the beverage, the conversation, the person or people you’re with, and the laughter.
This is worth keeping 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, worth storing in your memory and calling to mind at difficult times.
- Here’s 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 emotions stay in your brain and create anchors, moments that you can think of tomorrow if your day doesn’t go so well.
- It’s enough just to remember those repetition-worthy moments, because you find rewarding and simple happiness in them.
Good times have more power than the bad ones
Although it might sometimes seem like it’s the opposite, the fact is that your brain “stores” positive and pleasant moments to fight off the bad ones. Positive things are more easily integrated into your memory than negative ones, because they help you 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.
- There are benefits to something as simple as meeting up with friends for coffee and talking about your days. It’s one of the best exercises for the mind and heart that you can practice.
These moments will stay in your bank of positive experiences so that you can draw encouragement, strength, and energy from them when things don’t go your way.
So, go ahead and get a coffee with your friends today–the benefits are just too good to pass up!