As our day progresses, our moods and behaviors change depending on the environment that we are in. In some cases our moods are even affected by the time of day it is, for at one time of day we are at our happiest, and others we are the complete opposite. The thing about moods in that they are able to fluctuate very easily, with a simple emotion or comment they can be changed for both the better and the worse. Since they are so unpredictable, we find specific mechanisms that help us cope with what is happening around us. Some people find solace in a particular activity, whereas others find in a certain food or beverage. For the majority of the world, the three main forms of coping mechanisms include yoga, sleep, and of course, coffee. We find that these three in particular put us in better spirits, whether it may be in the workplace, at home, or even amongst friends.
HOW DO YOGA, COFFEE, AND SLEEP AFFECT OUR MOODS?
Yoga, sleep, and coffee play such big roles in our lives, for it seems that we cannot get through the day without accomplishing at least one; a relaxing yoga class to the day, a good night’s rest, or several cups of coffee. Each of these put us in a better mood from the troubles that are occurring behind the four walls. No matter what your choice of calming preference is, each of whom is designed to chase your moods and allow you to get back to reality. So how do yoga, sleep, and coffee specifically affect our moods?
Let us begin with yoga, the slimpest of them all. By definition, yoga is a set of practices that are designed to meditate one physically, spiritually, and mentally. For the most part, yoga consists of certain asanas, or poses, that cause you to unwind. Over the years, yoga has become a form of exercise as yoga opens both the mind and the body in many different forms. Yoga encourages its practitioners to go above and beyond their regular regimen and push their bodies to great lengths, ones that will allow an individual to open up and see the world through a different mood, typically a more calming one. As you exercise you begin to release endorphins that work together to change your mood. These endorphins are responsible for most of the mood changes that occur during exercise.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are a chemical formulation that is created in both humans and animals that produce a sense of high to have your mood changed. Formed in the central nervous system, the endorphins are a particular set of hormones that are released as a mood shaper. The good thing about endorphins is that they do not only change your mood to put you in a better mood, they are also known for being defense mechanisms in a time of need. When you are in pain, the endorphins inhibit that pain from reaching other neurotransmitters, allowing the pain to be restricted to one specific area or region of the body.
When you don’t get enough sleep it is clearly reflected upon your mood in many different ways. Not enough sleep results in lack of concentration, irritability, frustration and may even cause a person to experience periods of sadness at times. Each of the ways that sleep can affect your mood can be detrimental for not only your mood but for your health as well. Persistent lack of sleep may be a sign of a mood disorder or a chronic illness.
As for coffee, we all know that drinking our favorite brews change our moods for the better. After having just one cup of coffee we begin to be in a better mood, or as some put it ‘become human again’. For the most part, the majority of people cannot focus without a cup of coffee at hand, and constantly need it to get them through each day. For those must-have coffee drinkers amongst us, we need at least 4 cups of coffee per day just to be considered normal again. With each sip of coffee our energy levels are rejuvenated, allowing us to be on our best moods possible to continue the tasks at hand.
IS THINKING ABOUT IT ENOUGH OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE DONE?
To an extent, thinking about yoga does alleviate our concerns and put us in a better mood. Since yoga is primarily mentally based it, thinking about yoga, or meditating, can reduce the stress in one’s life and change your mood. To an extent, you do not have to do the full exercise to be considered as affecting your mood, opening up the mind to a form of relaxation and meditation will have just as big of an effect on your mood as if you did the actual poses.
Like yoga, it is scientifically proven than thinking about coffee change one’s mood. Just by thinking about the taste of coffee and its aroma, one’s mood can be changed for the better. Coffee plays such a crucial part in our lives, that even if we think of the drink as if we were drinking it, we will be happier. Without actually drinking the coffee and just picturing ourselves as if we were, we are reminded by the experiences that we’ve had with coffee in the past, which uplifts our moods for the better.
On a separate scale, thinking about sleep does not put us in a better mood for we long for those moments when we are sleeping. Sleep has such an effect on our daily behaviors that nothing can compare to actually getting some shut-eye. As much as we may want to think that just the thought of sleep is enough to keep us well-rested, it does not work this way in the sleep realm. Only the real act of sleeping will be able to change our moods and cause us to be happier and more optimistic the next day.
YOGA AND COFFEE
Does coffee illicit better yoga and meditation?
When it comes down to coffee, we all know that the caffeine in the coffee is what keeps us going; giving us energy from here to tomorrow. The reason being that we have so much energy after drinking a cup of coffee is because the caffeine works as a mind stimulator. The caffeine allows the brain to begin sending signals throughout the body again, allowing us to continue to focus on the task in front of us. Naturally, this mind stimulator works in terms of meditation as well. Having coffee before you meditate builds stamina to prepare you for the meditation ahead. With a cup of coffee prior to your yoga class, you will be able to sit in the class and meditate for much longer than you anticipated. The longer you meditate, the more substantial the effects will have on you as a whole.
COFFEE AND SLEEP
Does coffee help you sleep better?
Coffee and sleep go hand-in-hand, we find that we need both in order to make it through each day. As much as we may think it gets us to sleep better, having coffee before bed in fact has the complete opposite effect. Since coffee is filled with caffeine it causes us to be filled will energy and therefore wide awake, making falling asleep much harder than it actually is. Recent studies have shown that having coffee, or caffeine for all that matter, before a good’s night rest can change the way your body’s internal clock works. By the time you get to falling asleep, it would be long after you normally would if you did not have the caffeine in the first place.
If you feel like you must have coffee late at night, for reasons unable to explain, consider alternative beverages to get your caffeine fix in instead. Decaf coffee or even certain forms of tea will give you the energy you are looking for, but at the same will not ruin your internal clock. After drinking decaf coffee or tea, you will be able to fall asleep at the usual time you normally would, without having to worry about being kept up all night long.