Coffee With Good Friends Makes Our Problems Lighter

· May 25, 2017

Tea, coffee, good friends, and any problem becomes lighter. The magic of those cathartic moments is simply knowing how to appreciate the moment and to relieve tensions in a conversation, while enjoying the ritual of a warm drink. This in turn, generates very positive changes in our brain.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the best known psychologists in the study of happiness. He tells us that despite us spending the day surrounded by people and hyperconnected to technologies and every type of stimulus, we feel lonelier than ever. We have disconnected ourselves from happiness and forgotten the value of the good moments created, for example, while sitting around a table with dear friends sharing a cup of coffee or tea.

You should not wait until the good moments arrive to be happy. Start being happy, let the calm and balance flow inside you and good moments will come on their own. 

Those instants of relaxation we promote through a social ritual such as going out for a drink, actually have a very important purpose: to create emotional anchors. Coffee, tea or sharing a meal are positive experiences that activate our brain chemistry allowing us to be more communicative, to relax when faced with stress, and to create positive memories.

 

Good moments are more powerful than bad ones

A memory that has been labeled as emotionally positive will stay in our memory longer than a negative one. Good moments have power, permanence and a true capacity to promote our self-esteem. It’s not just us saying this, but an interesting study conducted at the University of Limerick in Ireland demonstrated it.


Great insanities leave behind good memories because they are the reflection of open minds, challenging hearts that live in the “here and now”. 

According to the study’s authors, a slightly unpleasant event tends to disappear from our memory through a simple defense mechanism in our brain. We quickly process the negative aspects to adapt to changes. What truly helps us move forward are positive memories, those that will optimally feed that positive attitude that pushes us and motivates us every morning.

 

We increasingly tend to disconnect from reality, from the here and now. We spend the day carrying on activities that we could call “maintenance”: getting dressed, picking up the car, the metro, going to work, coming back. We live in the fast lane, but at the same time, disconnected from our inner voice and from that reality where feelings, the emotions, happen. 

It’s not that we experience “bad moments”; we actually promote “a neutral life flow” that distances us completely from a feeling of happiness. It’s like trying to collect water with our hands and not feeling it. We’ll tell you how to overcome that state.

Tea, coffee and good friends…

We were talking earlier about the benefits of the healthy ritual of getting together for coffee or tea. Any socially rooted custom really has a purpose that we sometimes forget. In this case it is something as simple as that meeting someone for a cup of coffee can move us from that neutral life flow to a healthy and positive moment.

That custom is only a tiny example of everything that we could do to enable us to be more present, to be “rooted” in the here and now,  being more receptive to our inner world and at the same time, to that wonderful tapestry of stimuli, feelings and knowledge that surrounds us on the outside.

 

The benefits of a cup of coffee in the company of others

A cup of coffee in good company can bring about many benefits:

  • According to an article published in Psychology Today, caffeine can improve our social relationships by acting as a light stimulant. It optimizes the functioning of neurotransmitters that facilitate memory, good humor and communication.
  • The pleasant sensation of a drink such as coffee or tea provides us with endorphins. This internal sense of wellbeing relaxes us to enjoy more than an emotional connection with friends, those people who we find meaningful, creating a wellbeing circle that feeds back into our emotions and mental balance.
  • Pleasure and sharing good times helps us “to be present”, and every positive experience, as we’ve mentioned, builds a cognitive and emotional reserve that strengthens us and puts us in touch with genuine happiness: the one inscribed in little things, the things we can promote every day and that are so therapeutic for mind and heart. Let’s put this into practice.