Waking Up With Anxiety? 5 Helpful Tips And Tricks
By: Dylan Buckley
Updated June 04, 2020
Anxiety is something that affects many people throughout the day, making it much more stressful to complete basic tasks and causing the individual to constantly worry about every little thing rather than allowing them to go throughout their day seamlessly. Fortunately, there are plenty of methods that you can utilize to handle the anxiety that may come up during the day so that you are able to successfully navigate your anxiety and your day with ease.
However, for some people, the anxiety may never seem to stop, causing them to feel anxious first thing in the morning and set them up for a far more stressful day. Waking up with anxiety can be extremely undesirable and, as such, it is necessary to have exercises in place that will help you overcome this anxious start and better set yourself up for success right away.
If you are constantly finding yourself waking up with anxiety, here are 5 helpful tips and tricks that will allow you to take control of your morning and set the mood for the rest of your day.
Why Am I Waking Up With Anxiety?
Before we dive into some of the solutions to dealing with your morning anxiety, it can be helpful to better understand why you may be dealing with anxiety when you first wake up in the first place as the solution often lies in the heart of the problem.
So why are you waking up with anxiety? Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons behind this problem and find out which reasons may be contributing to your current anxiety predicament.
Poor Sleep Quality
For those who have constant anxiety, waking up with feelings of anxiety may not be the only problem. A racing mind and consistent worrisome thoughts will often make it harder for an individual to fall asleep and can lead them to think about the stresses of both today and tomorrow. When this happens, your sleep is negatively impacted as you lose out on the time that you have to sleep and are only able to sleep for a brief period of time that doesn't allow your body and mind to fully recover. This cycle then tends to repeat itself, leading to a consistent lack of sleep and subsequent feelings of anxiety each time you wake up in the morning.
Having Dreams That Cause Anxiety
Although scientists are still not completely sure why dreams occur or some of the more intricate details behind the dreaming process, it is not uncommon for your regular worries or stressors to become interwoven with your dreams. In the case of those who have anxiety dreams, these types of issues may appear frequently, leading you to feel rather anxious when you finally wake up to your real life. This can be especially harmful if you are constantly having these dreams and/or having recurring dreams or nightmares that touch upon the same topics.
Anxiously Anticipating The Day Ahead
Some individuals may feel anxious due to their current lifestyle. If you have stressful demands at home or at work, it can be easier for you to dread waking up and having to tackle them. When you get into the habit of stressing out as soon as you wake up, it becomes a cycle that is difficult to break and rather than waking up peacefully each morning, you wake up stressing about the events ahead and everything you need to accomplish. If you have a stressful lifestyle and are used to thinking or feeling a certain way in the morning when it comes to starting your day, this could be one main contributing factor to why you are constantly waking up with anxiety.
Cortisol Levels May Be Higher In The Morning
While this may or may not be the case for you, there have been studies that have shown that cortisol levels are higher in the morning, which is a hormone that is heavily associated with stress. In individuals who have anxiety, these heightened levels of cortisol in the morning can trigger anxiety almost instantly upon waking. There may be other hormonal issues that could be causing this anxiety as well so it is important to talk to a physician in order to determine whether or not medical issues may be playing into morning anxiety.
What Can I Do About My Morning Anxiety?
Now that you have a better idea of what may be contributing to the issue of waking up with anxiety, it is important to implement some exercises and preventative measures that can stop the cycle in its tracks and give you back your peace of mind in the morning. To help you with this, here are 5 useful tips and tricks that can put you on the right path!
#1. Squeezing In Physical Activity
A lot of people are probably already sighing just looking at this point but it is necessary to get enough physical activity in as it is vital for your mental and physical health. It turns out that those who are dealing with excessive anxiety in the morning after they wake up can benefit greatly from taking time out of their morning to engage in some form of physical activity, even something as small as walking. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it makes you happy and aim to do it for at least 5 times a week for a period of approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Feel free to also change up your routine and try other exercises out as you go.
#2. Enjoy Some Mindfulness Meditation Or Deep Breathing Exercises
Those who suffer from anxiety are always looking toward the future and thinking about the things that could go wrong, which puts us on overload and prevents us from living in the present moment. When we are constantly looking to the future, we lose out on the joys of the here and now. In this case, you are missing out on a peaceful morning that you could potentially have before starting your day. In order to prevent yourself from missing out on this time and to help you learn how to ground yourself, it can be helpful to utilize mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises to calm the mind and ground yourself at the moment. More importantly, deep breathing can work to battle your anxiety and can be used throughout the day whenever and wherever you are.
#3. Journaling First Thing In The Morning
If you are waking up and are immediately anxious, chances are that you have a lot running through your mind that you need to organize and address. To better help you get all of those anxious thoughts in order, it is often recommended that you start a journal that you write in as soon as you wake up. Fortunately, there are hundreds upon hundreds of useful journal prompts online that can help you to target your anxiety specifically and make it easier for you to de-stress in the morning. You may also want to make room for other activities such as making a list of gratitude each morning that will help you to see the bright side of things!
#4. Kicking Off The Day With Positive Affirmations
Speaking of positivity, another great way to start your morning in order to battle your morning anxiety is to start with positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements that reinforce positive thoughts, which are especially helpful when it comes to navigating and working through anxious thoughts. Positive affirmations are generally statements that help you to boost your confidence in certain areas. The only thing you need to make sure of when you are crafting your own positive affirmations or using others is that you fully believe in whatever affirmation you are stating. When you don't believe in your positive affirmations, they will often have the opposite effect and wear down your confidence, which will only worsen your current situation. As with journal prompts, there are many great affirmation ideas out there that can help you get started and help you to write your own empowering positive affirmations.
#5. Eat A Better Diet (Especially In The Morning!)
"You are what you eat", and, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" are two statements that are both very relative to the current situation. If you don't treat your body right with a proper diet or choose to skip out on some meals altogether, it can have a negative impact on both your mental and physical health that could worsen your current anxiety symptoms. As such, it is important that you eat foods that contribute to your overall health and make sure to avoid potentially harmful breakfast foods such as coffee, which could trigger anxiety and add to your morning anxiety problems. You should also follow this trend throughout your day and make sure to keep your diet in check!
Waking up with anxiety can be a stressful experience that can quickly turn into a habitual issue if it is not properly identified and taken care of. The guide above will give you further information on why you may be experiencing this and will give you 5 valuable ways you can work to change it so that you can regain your peace and your mornings! Along with these home exercises, it can also be helpful to seek out therapy if you have a serious anxiety disorder that may require further medication and assistance. If you believe that this could be helpful for your situation, visit BetterHelp today to connect with an online counselor and learn more about what can be done for your anxiety.
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