Coffee Psychology To Serve Our Anxiety & Pain: Why The The Color, Taste & Smell Of Coffee Does More For Us Than We ThinkRead Now
Coffee Psychology To Serve Our Anxiety & Pain: Why The The Color, Taste & Smell Of Coffee Does More For Us Than We Think
Welcome to your favorite coffee shop. The free ticket to a comforting smell just wafting into your nose compounded with the grinding, stirring, steaming and pouring activities of the baristas co mingling with the buzzing chatter and conversation meeting the next table with the lo fi vibe of the digital entrepreneur. All of this revolves around one thing, one drink, one idea. Coffee.
So what is the craze about coffee anyway? Is it really just about the caffeine kick or is there more to it? Is there actually something so deep about coffee that we just can’t explain why but it just makes us feel a sense of warm toasty love in our hearts? Truthfully, yes there is more to it.
Color, Taste & Smell
Let’s take a step back for a moment. Think about everything you know when it comes to coffee. What color is it? What art goes on your latte? What does your cappuccino smell like before the first sip? What taste qualities about that espresso do you crave? What is it about the atmosphere of your favorite coffee shop that gives you everything you desire while on your saturday meetup with a close friend? Coffee is invigorating, grounding and spiritually uplifting. It is no surprise why a roasted bean like coffee has become such a craze in modern societies throughout the entire world. But why? Have you ever felt anxious due to a lack of focus? Perhaps you are a parent who felt the fatigue from the previous night where the baby kept you up? Maybe you are a student who had a bunch of assignments due, or you are working extra hours at your job because you are so close to that promotion. Whatever it is, coffee can be helpful to us, our spirits and our brains, when it is used accordingly.
Productivity and caffeine go hand in hand it seems like these days. If you want a solid four hours of uninterrupted energy, coffee! If you want to get your day going, coffee! If you think you have a long night ahead of you, coffee! Caffeine actually helps us feel less pain. Kind of a unique concept isn’t it? Caffeine changes our perception just as it changes our perception of fatigue. While it does not actually change our fatigue or pain, the perception of it is what changes. Therefore, would this be a good go to all the time? Probably not. But when it comes to game day where it requires your all, caffeine can get your ready to be at peak performance.
Coffee is bitter. In TCM, a bitter taste means the action of the food or herb means it has a descending action. A way I can explain this is think about what coffee tends to make us do? Need to use the restroom right? That right there is a way the coffee works its descending action to promote urination and bowel movements.
Earth Tone Color
Coffee is a perfect array of earth tones isn’t it? Coffee and cream create a whole array of earth tone hues ranging from browns, yellows, oranges and reds. The type of beans and creams used change this and which is why it is aesthetically pleasing and comforting to us. It is literally a grounding drink while providing mental clarity and acuity.
Smells Burnt & Earthy
Coffee is enticing to us because it has a calming roasted smell (in TCM this would be a burnt smell- meaning it was roasted) as well as an earthy tone to it.
Coffee and caffeine are often associated with joy. Think about this for a moment. We don’t have much joy when we have fatigue right? However, when we feel awake, we feel excited to take on the world! Coffee is also energetically warming or more yang in nature. This means it has a mentally uplifting, energizing action to it while the earthy smell of it can be calming for someone.
Fire & Earth: The Five Elements
The five element theory is something you will hear me talk about a lot. It is the combination of how our internal body systems correlate with the outside world. When it comes to coffee it relates to the Fire and Earth elements. The fire element relates to heat, bitter taste, joy, and burnt smell while in this case the earth element relates to the colors of coffee being earth tones and aspects of digestion in this case its diuretic properties. This means that while it can be energizing and uplifting for the heart (which relates to the fire element) with the emotions like happiness and joy, too much of it can create anxiety! While it can help stimulate our earth element (by grounding us, help strengthen the function of our stomach & spleen in TCM) too much of it takes a toll on our digestion by heating it too much creating stomach upset, dehydrating us too much and making us crash from energy depletion later.
Coffee & Design Psychology
The idea of coffee to a coffee lover, (or someone who simply enjoys the process of making coffee like myself) can certainly understand the uplifting and grounding sensation I talked about previously. This is how the taste, aroma and color all serve us in design and our psychology. If you are someone who loves coffee and associates the smell with feeling good, then you can absolutely utilize that in your interior design. This is an example of planting the subconscious reminder that when you are reminded of coffee, you feel uplifted and grounded. Even the aroma alone can create this because we attach memories closest to smells in our minds. This is a result of the olfactory nerves being closest to the brain.
Before You Grab Your Coffee To Go
Before you grab your coffee to go, I simply wanted to communicate this with you to focus on this simple idea. What is it in your life that brings you bliss? Whether it is coffee or it is something else, what colors, tastes, aromas do you associate with it? How can you use that to your advantage aside from the experience itself? How can you bring that into your life to get the reminder of that feeling more often?
If you would like to learn more about this, I wrote a book titled, “How To Design For A Healthy Mind & Body” that will help you dive deeper into these concepts and discuss how you can get started designing your own space to benefit not only the aesthetics of your room, but also benefit your health. Just click to grab your copy below: