What exactly is morning anxiety?
Morning anxiety, albeit not a medical phrase, describes feeling stressed and worried when you first wake up. If you’re going through a difficult moment, adjusting to life changes, or are in despair, you might experience it.
If you frequently have extreme anxiety, concern, and tension in the morning, it could be worthwhile to speak with a mental health expert. In this instance, waking up with anxiety may be a sign of an anxiety problem that needs to be treated.
Excessive and uncontrollable concern that permeates daily life and happens frequently for at least six months is a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD sufferers frequently stress over mundane tasks. This may incorporate worry about:
work, education, finances, family, other connections, and health.
What signs of morning anxiousness are there?
Your general health may be impacted by anxiety.
If you wake up feeling anxious, you can encounter the following symptoms:
- being uneasy, “on edge,” or “wounded up”.
- indications of exhaustion associated with an anxiety attack, such as rapid breathing, a tight chest, stiff muscles, or a quicker heart rate.
- difficulty trying to focus and experiencing a mental block.
- the difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
- difficulty managing worry, nervousness, fear, or anxiety.
- stomach problems, such as indigestion, and headache.
You might also experience the signs of an anxiety attack, whether you’re thinking about the day ahead or anything specific. These signs may manifest as:
- extreme anxiety
- extreme distress
- stiff muscles of the chest
- fast breathing and heartbeat
What causes anxiety while waking up in the morning?
The following list contains potential anxious morning triggers:
- Stresses in life
Chronic or recent stressful life situations might lead to the development of GAD and other anxiety disorders. It is frequently complex, and numerous stressful life conditions or events can make symptoms worse.
A change in living circumstances, such as relocating to a new place or someone else leaving a job; A change in occupation, such as quitting a job; or even personal abuse. It could occur after a catastrophic occurrence, the emotional impact of losing a loved one or being separated from them, interpersonal issues, money concerns, etc,
The body’s natural reaction to unfavorable stimuli is stress. In response to a genuine or imagined threat, the body releases cortisol, sometimes known as the stress hormone.
In the morning, the body produces a large amount of cortisol. Medical practitioners refer to this as the cortisol awakening reaction (CAR), which occurs when cortisol awakens a person. Anxiety symptoms like increased blood flow and adrenaline production might get worse with a rise in cortisol levels.
- Sleep disruption
Lack of good sleep might make anxiety symptoms worse. Additionally, those who have regular sleep disruption are more prone to suffer from an anxiety illness.
As a result, anxiety may worsen while sleeping poorly, creating a vicious cycle.
- Use of drugs or alcohol
People who abuse alcohol and other substances may feel uneasy when they wake up. Alcohol and other drugs are frequently used by people to self-medicate their anxiety, but doing so may make them more susceptible to developing an anxiety disorder.
For instance, getting a hangover from drinking too much alcohol can make you more anxious in the morning and all day. According to research, cocaine usage can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and raise one’s likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder.
- Physical health problems in the body
A person may experience increased anxiety as a result of a physical disease that persists.
A person with a persistent medical problem may have health anxiety, even though everyone will react to health conditions differently. Some typical health issues that could cause anxiety include:
- heart disease
- Additional mental health conditions
It’s possible for someone with GAD to also have other mental health conditions.
Their anxiety symptoms could worsen if they have a coexisting disease, such as depression or bipolar disorder. A person might get an aggravation as a result and experience morning anxiety.
How can you reduce your morning angst?
Some self-care techniques may help you feel less worried and start your day in a calmer frame of mind if you wake up feeling stressed. Some of these techniques might even aid in reducing anxiety.
They may consist of:
- Physical exercise
Regular exercise can help to lessen anxiety symptoms, according to the American Association of Anxiety and Depression.
Physical activity can improve your mental and physical fitness, as well as:
improve your mood, decrease the signs of anxiousness, increase the capacity of your body to withstand stress, help you unwind, lower the tension, enhance sleep, etc.
To reap the best benefits, try to exercise frequently—at least 5 days per week, for 30-45 minutes per session.
Exercise possibilities include:
Brisk walking, yoga, swimming, bicycling, jogging, dancing, taking a class in fitness, etc.
- Mindfulness and meditation exercises
Self-awareness, or the capacity to recognize and observe your thoughts, feelings, and physical states in the present without responding to them, is the end result of regular meditation practice.
Redirecting your thoughts to the present now is a key component of mindfulness, and practice makes perfect. The advantages of mindfulness and meditation for health may include:
- reduced stress
- enhanced slumber
- low blood pressure
- decreased tiredness/ fatigue
Even though it could take some practice to wake up in a state of mindfulness, it might help lessen the symptoms of anxiety.
- Exercises for deep breathing
Early in the morning, deep breathing can help you redirect your attention and energy away from worrying and negative thoughts and towards your body.
Longer your exhalations after trying to breathe with your diaphragm, raising your stomach with each inhalation. The body’s reaction to worry may be lessened as a result.
- Fighting off negative ideas/ thoughts
If you find yourself “catastrophizing” when you get up and have unpleasant ideas about your day, confront them and concentrate on your controllable circumstances. You can think about maintaining a gratitude journal beside your bed and recording your blessings. List at least three things you’re looking forward to; this is also beneficial.
How is morning anxiety handled?
Anxiety is often diagnosed by a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist. Typically, a person will visit them to talk about ongoing anxiety, a sense of being overburdened, or trouble sleeping.
The healthcare provider will typically conduct a basic examination, inquire about the patient’s health, including any other mental health conditions, and learn about the person’s symptoms.
Depending on the symptoms a person is exhibiting, the medical professional may run tests to help rule out other disorders before confirming a diagnosis of anxiety.
Finally, they could ask the person to finish a self-evaluation. They will utilize the form of self-evaluation they feel will most accurately reveal if the subject has an anxiety disorder or another disorder that is causing symptoms.
It may be prudent to think about seeking professional treatment if your morning anxiety is an indication of an anxiety condition. Therapy, medication, and habit modifications may all be part of your treatment plan to help you manage your anxiety.
Treatment options include:
Psychotherapy, also referred to as “talk therapy,” can help you comprehend how anxiety impacts your life and how to control it.
CBT examines the crucial role that thinking plays in how we feel and what we do. It is a sort of treatment that can help people with anxiety and depression. You can identify negative thought patterns and reframe them with the aid of a mental health professional with CBT training. They might also impart to you new ways of thinking, behaving, and responding to anxious circumstances.
You can create coping mechanisms across several sessions that lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Antidepressants and anxiety medications, for example, can help with the symptoms of anxiety.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are examples of common types.
For short-term anxiety, doctors may give benzodiazepines; for longer-term anxiety, they may prescribe anxiolytics.
- Alterations in way of life
You can alter your routine in other ways that could help you feel less anxious both in the morning and all day long. Getting enough sleep and avoiding alcohol and caffeine are a few examples.
- eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes items like fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting processed food and added sugar.
- lowering tension at work and at home.
- Establishing a set time to reflect on concerns.
To allow yourself some space to reflect on the source of your concern, you can try setting a worry timer. Set a 10-minute time restriction for experiencing those emotions. However, when the timer sounds, switch to your self-care techniques. Even while you can’t expect to “turn off” your anxiety, using this strategy can help you notice your anxiety and offer you a specific starting point for self-care.
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