If you’d asked me before, what smells do I most associate with cities, I would probably say traffic fumes, but yesterday I was working in the throbbing metropolis of Carlisle and in the centre of town all I could smell was coffee. The tantalising aroma was everywhere and as I slowed down by the door of a Costa I could actually hear a coffee machine in full action – ouch! Needless to say, I quickened my pace but found myself noticing coffee shops that I have never noticed before.

So, my cravings to drink coffee have not gone, but, I’ll be honest, I feel different.

I would probably describe myself as having a tendency towards both anxiety and impatience. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t leave my house wondering what appliance I may have left on (that WILL burn the house down) and I do have a tendency to over-grip my steering wheel whilst driving just a little too fast – everywhere. But what came first the anxiety or excessive coffee drinking. The anxiety goes back to a pre-“A” level time of my life and back then I could easily notch up 8 or more coffees per day so did the coffee make me anxious in the first place?

But you know yesterday I was running late as I left my house and I had the usual “did I leave my straighteners on?” moment ( I know you will all be thinking how completely OCD but I’m just being honest). Normally I would go and check but I just calmly reminded myself that the last time I had actually used them was 2 days ago!

Then there was an accident on the road – normally if I’m running late I’m weighing up every possibility to overtake, undertake or effect some air-bourn stunt (a la Evil Kenevil)! But no, instead I again calmly figured an alternative route and reminded myself that it is really better to be a few minutes late in this life than a few decades too early for the next.

Anyway, there had been few opportunities to eat during the day so I got home feeling a bit tired and hungry. My normal automatic response to “fix” this situation would be to fire up my coffee machine but, instead, I had 2 large glasses of water and a banana – just enough to enable me to fit in 45 minutes of yoga before preparing dinner.

Well I’m into Day 5 and I’m still very much viewing this coffee abstinence as a temporary phase but here’s reason 3 for re-evaluating how much coffee you are drinking; Coffee taxes your adrenals …

Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system similar to our natural “fight or flight” reaction to stress so that the body pumps out stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are needed in order to respond to dangers or threats.

One cup of coffee stimulates your heart to beat faster and your liver to release sugars so that you instantly feel energised. However, too much coffee tricks your body into believing there is a permanent crisis, leading to feelings of anxiety and ultimately making you feel more tired. And, drinking coffee to offset fatigue, simply creates a vicious cycle as it can lead to a state of being unable to rest or sleep and so reaching for more caffeine.