If you want to be alive and happy, start by making a cup of coffee

According to a medical study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, people who drink two to four cups of coffee each day are less likely to commit suicide than those who don’t drink coffee, drink decaf, or drink fewer than two cups each day. The study followed over 200,000 people for at least 16 years. Other studies stated that coffee will defend against Alzheimer, reduce heart failures and heighten focus.

I make coffee every day, in the morning, as soon as I wake up. I watched my dad making espresso using the Bialetti mocha express coffee maker every single day when I lived with my parents.

Getting out of bed and smelling the fresh aroma pervading the kitchen brings back great memories.

I started drinking coffee during University to help me stay awake while listening to long, uninteresting lectures. Once started, coffee becomes my daily lover, addiction and companion.

Making coffee is like a daily meditation practice. Wake up, wash your face, put together the three pieces of the mocha maker, smell the fresh coffee, load the machine, smell the vapour produced by the water percolating, fill your small cup, add milk (if you want), enjoy it…and get ready to walk in the world.

A few weeks ago, I confronted the elephant in the room and I asked myself: “Why on Earth am I making coffee every day since I do not like it?”.

Why was I repeating every day the same routine, like a robot? Was it because I entered a state of flow while loading the machine with freshly grounded coffee, turning the stove on, and waiting 3–4 minutes until the coffee erupted like lava from a volcano? Or was it something else?

I did not have an answer.

Then I thought about daily habits of mind that help us. These habits help us to become very focused, live in the present moment and forget about our personal worries. When you make a cup of coffee in the morning, you have also achieved something.

Admiral William H. McRaven said, “If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed”.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed encourages you that tomorrow will be better.

I would say “If you want to save your life, start by making a cup of coffee”

Making a cup of coffee (or tea) is like making your bed the morning. It is a concrete way to feel alive, to tell yourself you are OK. When you are making it, you’re aware of what you’re doing in the making of it and you become aware of the smell of the world (the coffee).

You can feel the moves of the mug as you put your hands around it. You sit and you are present for these things and you allow them to be present and in doing that you’re distancing yourself from the monkey mind. The mind is distancing itself from whatever it’s concerned about and you’re more centred in where you are now.

This long and relaxing process encourages you to stop taking catastrophic remote views of all the things that could happen and focus on what is actually happening at the moment.

Carpe diem, make coffee and be happy.

Polymath, Ambivert & Tech-Anthropologist. Books and Tea Lover. Dream Job: Archaeologist of the Psyche. Future worst-selling author and board game designer.