Our Love For Coffee Is Proof We Exist

A body that understands and responds to caffeine is what being awake is. Don’t get it? Read the following statistics.

  1. Caffeine is unquestionably associated with lower risk of mortality. And an even greater reduction in the risk of death with higher coffee consumption. In short, you can live longer if you consume more coffee (total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated). (study)
  2. Caffeine’s biological effect is antagonism of the adenosine receptor. This means that caffeine speeds up nerve cells by tricking certain adenosine receptors. (study)
  3. Contrary to its positive side, there is a potential discussion that coffee consumption is directly linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and anxiety. This is when you take coffee consumption to an extreme level; that is, more than 5-7 cups a day. (study)

Of all the times I’ve come across such statistics, I’m convinced of the psychological effects of coffee. The secret to “waking up” even after waking up consciously is coffee; in its smell, aroma, and flavor.

So, do you wake up and smell the coffee for staying awake? Or do you wake up and smell the coffee because you absolutely love to?

I tried to draw a line between these two questions. The answer comes out groggy and confusing. Groggy because that’s how most of you feel before drinking a cup of coffee. And confusing because that’s how I feel about coffee after researching on something popularly known as “coffee psychology.” Coffee psychology is deciphering what coffee does to the human body. How it makes you focus on the positive and how it makes you see things more clearly. But what I didn’t find, at least not in the initial stages of my research is this: the deliciousness of coffee as a hot or cold drink. Yeah right. What was I hoping to find?

The first few words we think of when we talk about coffee is alert, energy, clarity, and active. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find the words: delicious, delicious, and delicious. No more or no less. Maybe this article will belong to the “delicious, delicious, and delicious” family. But wait a second. Is my love of coffee a trickery? Is caffeine tricking my taste buds, just as it tricks the adenosine receptors, into loving its taste even when it’s the most bitter thing one could taste?!

The more I drink coffee, the faster the caffeine continues to conspire and blur my sensitivity toward what tastes good and what tastes bad. To someone who’s never had a sip of coffee, coffee tastes bad, right? Wait until the caffeine kicks in. We can avoid it… we can but then we go ahead and dilute it with milk and sugar and the caffeine’s conniving booby trap begins. From very sweet to mildly sweet to not-so-sweet to slightly bitter and finally, to boldly bitter.

If someone were to ask me why I love drinking coffee, I would say, “Because I love the taste so much. And it’s not about the fact that it keeps you alert, thinking quick, and energetic. I just love the taste. And yeah, I only drink it without sugar. I mean, who drinks coffee with sugar anymore?!”

People do not talk about this. But it is a good conversation starter. Look at this for example.

Cornell University (study) suggests that caffeine alters the perception of taste. Just the act of drinking coffee every morning made participants feel more awake. Also, when you taste food right after drinking coffee, the flavor of the food is noticeably altered. This happens because caffeine tricks certain receptors in the brain into reducing our sensitivity toward sweetness as a flavor. That’s precisely why we crave the bitterness of coffee.

So, are you telling me that the day I stop desiring coffee in the midst of my coffee drinking habits, I stop existing?

What I Think About When I Talk About Working Out

I don’t always think out loud. But when the time’s right, I do.

One of the most titillating conversations about life involves talking about the things we do to stay active and healthy. Such conversations aren’t frequent, but they’re certainly a mind-opener beyond the stereotypical perspective.

Stating that fitness is nothing but an accomplishment to lose weight disappoints me to my very core. If you’ve ever been a part a similar conversation that lasted for not more than 15 minutes about the importance of staying physically fit and nothing else, then I feel sorry for you.

Who I don’t feel sorry for is the person who shares such an incomplete and self-defeating perspective about fitness. It’s clear why anybody would think the way many do.

Entering a gym is a matter of “necessity” because weight loss is at stake. It is also a matter of “gaining pride” because it’s rewarding, especially for men, to prove their masculinity with muscles. While the idea of a girl or a woman working out is beyond such standards.

Practicing yoga is a matter of “importance” because our culture does well to strike a chord with regards to dealing with stress and life problems. Yes, yoga does help you deal with emotions, but it isn’t a solution in itself. There are many layers to practicing yoga or any other form of exercise that stimulates flexibility and patience.

There’s a benchmark we’d all like to meet, in one way or another. For me, it was to be able to do a split or do a long-mile run. But it’s not anymore. These are no longer goals I’d love to reach, but rather stepping stones for the purpose of doing something. The idea that it’s my purpose to do something, whatever form of physical fitness it may be, might sound vague to you. But it’s what I use, daily, to get on that treadmill, head for my aerial fitness class, or do my inversions training.

The way to do something, is to do anything that requires you to get out of your comfort zone. This thought changed the way I perceived and pursued fitness in my life. I no longer had to incorporate a lifestyle that involved giving time to fitness, it instantly adapted to mine.

You don’t have to force a fitness schedule to reap its benefits. There is a strong case against feeling physically out-of-action and languid. All I did was metamorphose the ropes a bit and the effort I put in inevitably did me.

The psychology of running has been around for years now. And by giving it deeper thought, I’ve realized that it’s non-existent if it’s taken word for word. There is a certain kind of process or transition you go through when you start running. It doesn’t unwrap itself in the first week of training, or even the first month. Running feels different when you do it with the hopes of actually changing. And running feels different when you do it because you want to do it more often. I did it for the latter, but in moments- for the former. Even so, the effort to run reflected back to the way I converse with people and to myself when I’m alone.

When I started feeding my brains with the things that should have motivated me to work out, somehow they never satisfied me. I never obsessed over the details, the tips, or the easy ways to kick-start the “life-changing” process. I was being fed the same things millions of people are and that didn’t work. So I decided to sign up for something that might seem less ordinary, but effective. At least it was in my case.

The act of simply doing it. I didn’t wait to strike a chord with some fitness instructor or diet plan. That wasn’t my purpose. What was, and still is, is to do any form of physical exercise and keep at it. Imagine you’re reading about the same topic over and over again. Not that it’s not interesting to you or you’re getting bored of it, but there will come a point when you need to shift the scales a bit. Read about something else. Some new idea, research, or essay.

I just translated the way I read into what makes me physically active. This kind of behaviorism made up the rest of my life. The expression “know thyself” is confusing and, at the same time, terrifying. Because once you start on this journey, it’s not so much about changing the way you think, but discovering the ethos that exists inside you.

What I’m going to say next is ordinary, but it’s the hard truth- working out shouldn’t be your aim to be accepted and appreciated by others, it has to be your aim to accept yourself. So is working out a good decision or is it a decision that’s right for you, as a human?

When someone tells you to start working out because you start panting when you climb the stairs or when you eat a lot of junk food and are growing a belly- that’s bad advice. It’s normal to start working out because of those reasons, but it’s time to look above and beyond such a confined purpose.

What’s dangerous advice? It’s telling someone to understand the workings of their own mind. That’s when you see yourself as yourself when you work out and not how you want the world to look at you. There’s a slow shift of self-image, the kind that contradicts your effort along the way. And this contradiction cannot be predicted or explained, it’s only felt. That significant mental and physical effort you make for your physical set-up isn’t only physical. It leads to unexpected discoveries and revisions, even emotionally.

The best thing about working out is that you can make up your own purpose of doing so. It doesn’t have to be only one thing or one motive. We live stressful lives, all of us do, and having such options that force us to break that shell, step out, and reflect our choices is what we truly care about. Even if we are a little late at realizing it.

And running along with the fact that there’s a deeper problem (or gift?) to our lifestyle – and that is change – we set up these unrealistic objectives to beat them down and rise above. And that’s precisely what makes us bear a grudge against the idea of working out and living a healthy life.

Quit an unhealthy lifestyle, and have anything you want.

Don’t force a healthy lifestyle, embrace one. The silent killer isn’t the “muffin top” anymore, it’s your emotions that affect your body, and the lack of a better, much pragmatical sense of mindset.

It’s not untrue when I say that what we take to be true and believe in becomes our reality. And what becomes our reality is how we take shape in this world, mind and body.

How is that we feel tired so often, sleep, and think twice before going for a run at any time of the day?

Because we don’t care enough to bond with our own selves as much as we do with others.

“I am sick and tired of feeling tired and unhealthy all day.”,  is what one might say but what can we do about it?

Bellyful of things. First off, embracing a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. It involves a great deal of muscle-work and mind-work.

When I think of a burger, I crave it and get all juiced up. When I think of running a few miles, I cringe at the thought of it. And when I think of what I’ll eat after my workout session, is what I look forward to while working out. It’s not about the exercise, it’s about what rewards I’ll get to enjoy later on. Why? Because our mindsets are hardwired (by us) to feel, sense, and imagine the pleasure, and pain that we experience while doing all those things. It’s not about procrastination or laziness. It’s our mindset. The more we imagine pleasure and pain, the more we’ll experience it later on; it’s a cycle that puts our mindset into motion.

The psychology of two types of mindsets: Fixed and growth play a crucial part in those beliefs that we carry about ourselves.When we overlook health’s basic needs, we’re focusing on a fixed mindset of a set experiences that we’re supposed to feel in a day. And when we embrace a better lifestyle, we’re encouraging our growth mindset by introducing ourselves to new sets of emotions and experiences in one day. That’s a big difference with being productive.

 How evolution made the average person believe she is better in every imaginable way than the average person.

What can we do to become more and more healthy, every day?

Instead, let’s embrace a healthy lifestyle?
There is no difference in remaining the same and exercising because you have to and not exercising at all. For me, it defeats the purpose of exercising. To me, exercising is not a repetitive routine. It’s a way of life. You  change when you’re trying hard on that one bit of you. You think differently, act differently, and still eat whatever you want to. But of course, all in moderation. Our tendencies can change if we know better and understand how exactly should we deal with experiences, thus framing our own reality.

“I underestimated the power of conversation, honesty, negativity, and self-enhancement for my healthy lifestyle.”

Before, I misunderstood the meaning of embracing a healthy lifestyle and used it as a tool to enhance only one part of my physical tendencies. Now, everything that I do every day is a part of my lifestyle, from my food habits to my conversational levels and curiosities.

It’s a boon to have someone to talk to about everything, good or bad, ugly or beautiful, and interesting or dull. Openness to ideas reflects the kind of personality you are; it is paramount to embrace daily activities as the process that will, in the future, affect your other habits such as speaking correctly, listening to others, working in a professional environment, dealing with challenges, and also exercising! You won’t realize how fortunate your experiences will become once you embrace the goodness and mirror yourself with negativity and self-judgements.

“People run away from negativity, I embrace it -in my own twisted methods.” 

Below are a few things that I believe in that have become my reality and a process towards a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Know patience to skill effectiveness.
  2. Be not too honest about your own judgments about yourself. That’s how you overcome challenges, instead of realizing its barriers.
  3. Listen with the intent to understand; do not listen with the intent to reply.
  4. Imagine the dopamine levels working your mood and activity.
  5. Practice the illusion of control on food, reactions, and unnecessary arguments.
  6. An unhealthy lifestyle is a misery for a professional and personal life, in the long run.
  7. Once you exercise for the tendency to eat and stay positive, you automatically start enjoying it.
  8. It’s not about how much you exercise every day, it’s how well you exercise each day.
  9. Accept that you are not the idea of perfection, as perfection is what you make it be to.
  10. Talk to others out of the habit of making conversation.
    Originally published at thisweekmumbai.com by Ayesha.

Keep your fear

The surest way to confidence is uncertain but is it achieved by the presence of fearlessness? Was our creation meant to eliminate all fear and live to attain success and supported victory? Sometimes when we’re bound to challenges, all we can think of is how to face our fears and defeat the purpose of the challenge and defeat our fear rather than relishing the contentment of what happens after. It may be unwise of us to short-sight the importance of challenges and continuously denounce about getting cold feet; and ultimately backing out!  We have only one life to live and sometimes challenges can get difficult, their simple existence becomes an almost sixty-four thousand dollar question. If we start to perceive challenges as a mere unnecessary demotion in our lives; a struggle that is better hidden, which the society may condemn because it brings out our true self, then, we would be unheard everywhere, even in our minds and in those of others; and a challenge would become a powerful energy that would only heighten our fears and slowly deteriorate our will to keep struggling and the hope for proliferation. Fear of any material or immaterial force is inevitable. Only through real-life challenges can we expose our fears to ourselves; there exists no other theory that can disinter our fears of any force, by anyone or anything. It becomes a part of living, fear. It becomes the way we wish to perceive the world; our fears become our guidance in ways unexplainable. Fear doesn’t exist physically, it a mental state of mind by reason and effect. Human mind reveals fear as it reveals vision, so clear and profound that our personality is formed around it. Without fear, our mind would be presumptuous and corrupt; it would not know boundaries and limitations with reasons and logic. Any reasonable act of conduct would be hushed if without any fear of human’s mind over existence or reality.

Human beings are bound to a cycle, which is the reparation of human personality. Each mark on this cycle is growth and stability, and it can only stay that way if we choose to be sensible and understanding. Basically, if we choose to have brains! I have often heard people say that fear is unnecessary and just a distraction; it needs to be destroyed as quickly as possible because it cause problems for the individual and to those around him/her. Fear is thought to be destructive for us, it destroys mind, peace, love and happiness; especially happiness.

I won’t prolong my article, Keep your fear, any more than 600 words so I dedicate this paragraph to my perception of fear for one prime reason which is to share my ideology and portray pieces of my mind to make better of people and the world. The concept of fear is extremely simple. It isn’t a distraction nor is it destructive for any single human soul or mind anywhere! Fear leads to growth because it shows us our genuine limitations much better than those surrounding us; it does make us more vulnerable to tolerance in ways that our limitations become more defined and we learn to understand the importance of it. It encourages adventurousness better than any other immaterial force of mind. So, fear is not a setback; it does not lead to unhappiness in any way. Fear is inevitable and existent forever BUT FEAR IS GOOD ONLY WHEN IT IS CONTROLLED UNDERSTOOD THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. And the correct way to do so is uncertain, it exists individually.