Photo by hang_in_there
Morning anxiety is a common experience for anyone struggling with generalised anxiety. In this podcast we're talking about the symptoms of morning anxiety and how you can find help to start your day feeling calm and in control of anxiety.
Common Symptoms of Morning Anxiety
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling faint, or dizzy
- Strong feelings of anxiety, or sense of dread
- Tight chest, shortness of breath
- Feeling fatigued and drained
- Feeling confused or mentally overwhelmed
- Insomnia - where dreading tomorrow affects your sleep
Things that Can Cause Morning Anxiety
A spike in stress hormones: adrenalin and cortisol can makes us feel anxious, and when we feel anxious we produce more stress hormones setting up a negative cycle where one feeds into the other and quickly spirals out of control.
Other things that can cause, or contribute to, morning anxiety are:
Low blood sugar
Drinking alcohol the night before (can spark anxiety during the night, and during waking)
Anticipatory anxiety and negative self talk
An overloaded or stressed mind can spark anxiety at any time, some of us are more prone to feel anxious in the evening, some wake up anxious at night and some experience anxiety in the morning.
Negative news and TV, or dramas
Wake up gently, try a gentle alarm clock that fades in gradually so you don't wake up with a jolt, or a wake up light alarm clock or application. Don't sit up suddenly and shoot out of bed, give yourself time to wake up gently.
A Simple Technique for waking without adrenalin
Before sitting up, or getting out of bed, stay where you are and try the following: place your left hand over your heart, and your right hand over your navel and taking some slow deep breaths, notice your hands rise and fall with your breath and feel their warmth, be gentle with yourself and allow a little time for a gentle transition into being fully awake.
Once you lower the baseline rate of your anxiety, you will experience less spikes and that means less morning anxiety. Take advantage of any relaxation skills that can help you settle into a peaceful sleep so you get good quality rest with a peaceful mind.
Some tools to help you start your day more relaxed:
Skip the caffeine
- If adrenaline spikes are causing anxiety, don't provoke things further with caffeine
Try a milky cereal based coffee instead with a little honey
If you want to feel more awake use a shower, or go for a walk. Be gentle with yourself - it's OK to come around slowly, we're not fire fighters rushing out to an emergency and to start the day as if we are is a big part of the problem.