Coffee breaks are more than just for those quick pick me ups. Coffee breaks can actually relieve and reduce stress in your life. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking occasional coffee breaks with friends to help reduce stress caused by a variety of factors, and with good reason. Just sitting over a cup of coffee, regardless of flavor, blend, or brand, invites conversation and socialization. Over a cup of coffee we can gripe, share, and offer support to one another.
Did you know that in Sweden, many businesses encourage coffee breaks at 10 o’clock in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon? It’s called Fika. It’s specifically designed for stress relief, to defrag, increase productivity, and that all important component to creativity called bouncing ideas off of each other. In Sweden, this ritual is routine in many office environments, and provides a perfect opportunity to step away from the desk for a bit and recharge those brain batteries.
You don’t even have to drink the coffee to feel better. Open up a can or bag of coffee and take a whiff. For all you coffee lovers out there, that whiff provides an almost instantaneous rush of pleasure and satisfaction in the brain. For some, the smell of coffee stimulates the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain where our sensory input is translated. Believe it or not, scientific research has determined that the smell of coffee not only rejuvenates olfactory sensory receptors, but can provoke that “feel-good” sense of “aahhhh”.
Why? Because our sense of smell is often combined with pleasant memories. Try this little experiment. Watch someone taking their first whiff of coffee first thing in the morning or at the office. Nine times out of ten, you’ll likely discern a hint of a smile and an expression of satisfaction and even relaxation come over someone’s features.
No doubt about it, coffee provides a wide variety of benefits to us humans. It wakes us up, gives us energy thanks to its caffeine content, and promotes a sense of well-being that gets your motors running first thing in the morning. Our sense of smell has a very important role in our mood and how we face our day. So start your day with a whiff of your favorite coffee even before its brewed – we dare you not to smile.