After a day of working as a PE teacher, I stood outside the school with a cold cup of coffee in my hand waiting for our daughter so we can head home. During this time other parents started to arrive and I began talking to a friend. He took a look at my cup and told me that he recently had to cut coffee out of his daily routine. I asked him why and he shared his fondness for latte’s, that he probably drank too many of them, and that this amount of caffeine could be creating some health concerns. I told him I could relate and then we went on our way.
The next time I saw him, he asked me what the latest topic of discussion was in health class and I shared that we discussed anxiety. He jokingly said maybe I should attend next time. He laughed, I laughed, and then we dove into the topic a bit. Some of the symptoms that he has been feeling, I too have been experiencing them. It was funny as we got to a point where I finished a sentence for him and he said something like see, you know what I am talking about and I said, yes, unfortunately I do! Things like an occasional bout with dizziness, heart palpitations while laying down, the sensation of an increased heart rate, and so on. For me, the first time I experienced this was around the one year anniversary of my brother's death. For him, it was losing someone close to him and also having another member of his family being ill. We were/are on a similar path and are both working on improving it.
Now, considering our plight, our doctors gave us the same response. After initial tests, the heart was working fine but it was most likely anxiety and the elevated blood pressure that was at the root of our problem. Adding caffeine on top of these symptoms seems to further exacerbate the issue.
So what is the solution to this mess I have found myself in? To start, I was advised to focus on relaxation techniques, to slow down, to try to calm the mind and body and to breathe. It just so happens that these are the same principles I attempted to bestow on a group of teens! So much for practicing what you preach, right? Sometimes I am good about following the doctor's advice and other times I am not. When the moments of anxiety or stress get elevated, I try to refocus on what is important and put the following ideas into practice:
I hope you all have a wonderful week!