So you want to know how to stop morning anxiety? Well, the best way I can suggest how to overcome morning anxiety is by implementing realistic and practical methods that work well for your life. Sometimes we wake up feeling anxious for various reasons in our lives. Morning anxiety can often occur more times than what we would like in a week and can damper how we function in our daily lives. Ultimately the methods you choose to use should help you feel grounded.
What Is Morning Anxiety?
There is no formal medical diagnosis for morning anxiety. However, morning anxiety is a very real thing. Yet the term is certainly what it sounds like – feelings that are extremely excessive after awakening from sleep. Several people experience the issue of anxiety in the morning, but it can be far worse for others.
For those who experience anxiety more often in the morning than they would like, generalized anxiety disorder may be the reason. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) refers to a persistent feeling of worry or dread that affects the matters of everyday life. Living with GAD means experiencing anxiety more than just occasionally or during certain stressful events. It’s characterized by ongoing frequent anxiety that can go on for several months if not years compared to morning anxiety. Anxiety symptoms in the morning can strike because of particular factors.
Why Is Anxiety Worse In The Morning?
Anxiety is worse in the morning as a result of various contributing factors. The main factor is due to the ‘stress hormone’ more formally known as cortisol. Cortisol is produced and released by the adrenal glands. This hormone regulates the body’s response to stress. Cortisol levels are higher when we wake up first thing in the morning. Research studies show that it rises within an hour of waking up which is called the Cortisol Awakening Response.
Increased stress hormone levels can mean that people have an excessively demanding day ahead or pressing stress from the night before, which is the first thing on their minds when they wake up. Stressful activities or thoughts before bed can result in higher levels of cortisol upon waking up which plays a role in anxiety in the morning. This can explain why some people deal with severe morning anxiety more so than others. It is evident that cortisol causes morning anxiety but there are also factors that can increase anxiety as well.
The type of diet you consume can be another cause of early morning anxiety. What you eat and drink oftentimes contributes to higher levels of anxiety towards the beginning of the day. Higher amounts of sugar and heavy caffeine intake are huge culprits of increased feelings of anxiety. On the contrary low blood sugar has been linked to early morning anxiety causes. Excessive consumption of alcohol as well as poor sleep quality from insomnia and interrupted sleep can trigger a rise in morning anxiety symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms of Morning Anxiety?
Morning anxiety has various contributing causes that can make it seem just like generalized anxiety disorder. However, there is a significant difference between morning anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder. Morning anxiety occurs within the first few hours of the day whereas generalized anxiety disorder can occur at any time of the day. Nonetheless, if you find yourself struggling with anxiety after waking up, it is important to be aware of the symptoms.
Morning anxiety symptoms can include the following:
- Feeling of restlessness
- Tingling of hands, arms, or legs
- Uncontrollable nervousness
- Panic attacks signs: difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, muscle tension, a tightening of the chest, sudden nausea
- Racing or unwanted thoughts
- Inability to concentrate
- Difficult calming down
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, then it is possible that morning anxiety may be the culprit. I find it beneficial to log these unpleasant instances into a mental health journal. Keep a record of the time of day they occur as well as what you may have done after and prior to them occurring. Being proactive in this way may essentially help you learn the triggers and patterns of your morning anxiety in order to develop strategies in order to manage it better.
15 Strategies To Calm Anxiety in The Morning
The symptoms of morning anxiety can make it challenging to face the day ahead. The range of these symptoms is reason to believe they may hinder your productivity and well-being. However, with the right actionable strategies and mindset, you can calm the anxiety you experience in the morning. Realistic actions can set a more positive tone for the remainder of your day.
The following are 15 tips for how to overcome morning anxiety:
- Acknowledge The Feelings of Morning Anxiety
- Acknowledging morning anxiety helps you recognize the fact that you are not in the best mental space. You are able to set your intentions toward taking steps to do things that will help reduce the feelings of morning anxiety. As you move forward with your day, setting a goal to improve the problem you are facing can feel empowering. In addition, you make it easier to accept and learn impactful ways how to deal with morning anxiety.
- Practice Mindfulness
- After waking up in the morning, engaging in mindfulness techniques can redirect your attention away from anxious thoughts. Take time to focus on being present in the moment as you practice deep breathing. Instead of worrying or being fearful about what has not transpired, you can also try meditating for a few minutes. Also, remember what you are grateful for or say positive affirmations to uplift your mood while also reducing your anxiety.
- Drink a Glass of Water
- If you are waking up anxious, it is truly beneficial to get rid of that on-the-edge feeling to help overcome morning anxiety. Drinking a cool glass of water is an easy practice to remove your unwanted nerves. The sensation of the water could help lower your already peaking cortisol levels.
- Eat A Nutritious Breakfast
- In addition to hydrating yourself in the morning, fueling your body with a nutritious breakfast can ease the symptoms of morning anxiety. Opt for healthy well-balanced meals rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins which are shown to be associated with anti-anxiety effects. Proper nutrition provides a stable foundation for mental well-being and can contribute to a sense of calm and clarity.
- Develop A Morning Routine
- Establish a wellness morning routine that nurtures your mind and body to help overcome morning anxiety. Having a routine for the first few hours of the day may help you feel more in control which can regulate feelings of overwhelm. Wake up a little earlier than usual to begin this routine, especially if you have children. This allows you ample time to flow through your morning to regulate your feelings of anxiety.
- Listen to Music
- The effects of uplifting music can alleviate the fight or flight response that comes along with higher levels of stress. When you are feeling anxious, music can be a form of natural medication because it can trigger pleasure. Listening to specific types of music can boost feel-good chemicals in the brain. Plus listening to certain types of music can aid in releasing built-up frustrations after waking up.
- Challenge Anxious Thoughts
- Fight anxious feelings or thoughts by taking a few moments to challenge them. Ask yourself, ” Why is my anxiety worse in the morning? ” Then say out loud the first thing that comes to mind and challenge it with a positive truth to reduce your fears. An additional place to help you challenge your anxious thoughts is in a mental health journal.
- Guided Journaling
- Journaling either before bed or within a few hours of waking up is a good way to calm your mind. An interactive guided journal can be extremely helpful in directing your focus toward other meaningful things.
- Seek Support From Family or Loved Ones
- The weight of morning anxiety can be lightened by seeking support from a trusted family member or loved one. They may offer valuable insights or suggestions to help ease your anxiety. Someone who empathizes with your experience can provide a sense of comfort and motivation to face each morning with greater resilience.
- Engage In Physical Movement with Exercise
- Exercise is a great way to further help overcome morning anxiety reduce stress and manage anxiety. It has been shown to have a positive impact on anxiety levels and overall well-being. Incorporate physical activity to get your central nervous system ignited. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a quick workout regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of anxiety. It is best to move your body early in the day to release endorphins. Additional benefits of physical activity include reducing tension and helping you feel more grounded and centered.
- Take A Cool Shower
- To make your morning a bit more calming, incorporate a relaxing activity such as taking a cool shower. A cool shower stimulates the senses of touch and sound which can distract your mind from the worries of the day. Doing something as simple as taking a shower can take your mind off of negative anxious thoughts and feelings.
- Do Something That Brings A Smile To Your Face
- Make a routine habit of going to something that makes you smile. That simple practice can become a ritual to signify you making it through another morning and not letting anxiety overtake you. Lighting a candle once you get settled into your day or opening the windows to let the sun shine are simple practices that can bring a smile to your face.
- Read The Bible
- For people who rely heavily on your faith, spend quiet time reading the Bible to overcome morning anxiety. Focusing on spirituality can help vanquish anxious and worrisome feelings. You are able to use this time to be both in the presence of God and reduce morning anxiety within your mind and body.
- Implement Good Sleep Hygiene
- A lack of quality sleep is a sure way to increase anxiety symptoms. This is why it is crucial to get a restful night’s sleep. Establishing a consistent sleep routine can help regulate your body’s internal clock which makes it easier to wake up relaxed. Before bedtime, consider relaxing activities such as reading or listening to calming music to unwind and reduce the intensity of anxiety. A well-rested mind is better equipped to handle the challenges of the morning.
- Focus On What You Can Control
- It’s easy to get wrapped in the thought that you are experiencing bad anxiety in the morning. Yet you have to remind yourself of the things that you can control which are mainly your own actions and reactions. Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done. Sometimes you have to force yourself to do certain things to keep yourself from a specific mental state. Over time you will find that putting forth the effort is so well worth it!
My Personal Strategies On How To Beat Anxiety In The Morning
Watch the video below which includes my personal tips on how to stop terrible anxiety in the morning.
If you have trouble watching the video, click the following link: My 5AM Morning Routine To Overcome Morning Anxiety.
How Is Morning Anxiety Treated?
Overcoming morning anxiety takes time and effort. Yet, once you have tried to overcome morning anxiety on your own, it might be time to find another method to address your anxiety. If you still find yourself having persistent morning anxiety or even increased anxiety symptoms, it may be time to seek professional medical treatment. Seeking support from your primary care doctor may be the best place to start for medical advice. Your physician can recommend certain treatment options tailored to your specific needs which can range from seeing a mental health specialist, support groups, and or medication.
A general primary care doctor can refer you to mental health professionals such as a therapist or a counselor. A therapist can help you understand the root of your anxiety and develop further coping mechanisms. Counselors might recommend certain lifestyle changes that focus on reducing stress levels and enhancing your overall well-being. Many mental health professionals will suggest medication for morning anxiety. This is usually a necessary option if the symptoms of anxiety are interfering with your day-to-day life which could be a further sign to look into possible anxiety disorders.
Final Thoughts About Practical Methods on How To Overcome Morning Anxiety
Overcoming morning anxiety is something that probably everyone experiences in their life. Several people are likely affected by morning anxiety, so you are not alone in your experience. However, if you find yourself constantly waking up with anxiety, you may begin to question does morning anxiety go away. I believe once you start to question your mental health, it is highly urgent to seek out medically professional help.
You may think there is no hope for what you experience every single morning. That is not the case because many people overcome morning anxiety. When I find myself struggling with morning anxiety, I am able to get rid of morning anxiety by turning to my favorite comforting scriptures from the bible for mental illness. The fact is that morning anxiety can be managed with the help of medical professionals, lifestyle changes, and even medication. You can control anxiety so it won’t control your life.
Additional Information For People Struggling With Anxiety
NOTE – If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, please call a friend or loved one. Ask them to help you get professional help. Do not try to work through your feelings on your own. If you are in immediate crisis, go to your nearest emergency room or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 at any time of day or night. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention, and crisis resources. Ultimately, go online at https://988lifeline.org/ for further help and information.