Saturday, March 22, 2014

suffering from morning anxiety but you don’t know why?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

did you wake up bursting with positive energy today? if not, it’s okay. we all have days when we wake up to that familiar feeling of sadness or panic or anxiety. oftentimes you can’t put a finger on it — it just feels like this thick shadow draping over you, blocking the bright rays of the sun. 

for some it’s temporary, yet for some it’s a lifelong affair with anxiety.

i have struggled with morning anxiety for years. i knew what anxiety was, i just did not understand why it would particularly happen to me in the mornings. conquering morning anxiety was a personal project of mine for years to no end. when you look around there is a myriad of articles on anxiety. my reason for writing this is not to offer an expert opinion, which i don’t claim to have, but to take you on a short walk with me, lest you’ve been experiencing it, too. 

it took years before i finally decided to do serous research on this persistent foe. i was surprised with my discovery that there indeed is such a thing as “morning anxiety” and that millions of people suffer from it (i honestly thought i gave this kind of anxiety a name, silly me.) 

general anxiety causes lack of sleep, restlessness, loss of appetite and the lack of motivation. the sum of all these would end up in overall fatigue. if you’ve been worried about your job, money or relationship and you feel like you’ve downed eight straight shots of espresso and can’t control the jitters, you will surely be struggling under an invisible anvil the day after. the body can only take so much.

what is morning anxiety like? here’s an excerpt from a story where the central character, belinda, describes what she feels so we can somehow put a face to this bothersome feeling.

as soon as i opened my eyes i noticed the thin long cracks on my ceiling. they weren’t there yesterday. or maybe i just didn’t see them. 

is today a monday? a thursday? days are strangers to me now. why is my heart’s thumping and i’m so scared. how am i going to survive the next few days? questions, questions. my head is full of them now. do i have enough money? no, no, no. i never have enough. payday’s two weeks from now. the thought makes me want to jump out of bed and start working. maybe i’ll earn more money and i’ll never have to worry about it.”

i want to get up and do something but my body feels very heavy. I am very worried and i don’t know if anything will ever make things better. am i the only one feeling this way?”

sometimes, morning anxiety borders on the feeling of a panic attack and paranoia. you feel fearful and jittery. it is, however, a complex emotion to describe especially when you feel like you’re going through a tunnel where, sadly, the light on the other end scares you.

 here are some symptoms of morning anxiety. the moment you wake up you...
  •  feel nervous, terrified even if you do not know the specific reason
  • feel weak, tired, dizzy
  • feel out of control
  • have pains in your chest 
  •  are confused
  •  have stomach upset — this used to hit me the most
  •  have muscle tension
overcoming morning anxiety is a process, and hopefully not a long one for you. besides life events that worry you, there may be things that you do everyday that add up to your anxiety. i didn’t know they mattered, that’s why i want to share them with you because in the world of anxiety, these are juggernauts:

  •  sleeping on a bed that’s not comfortable will not give you a complete rest. the overall mood and feel of your room have a lot to do with your first emotions when you wake up. after all, it’s the first thing that you see in the morning. studies have also shown that when you wake up to an alarm, you subject yourself to a “surprise”  or scare and that’s not the best way to start your day.
  •  low blood sugar triggers the fight or flight response, according to deanne repich, the founder of the national institute of anxiety and stress, inc. maintaining the right level of sugar will help your body to stay calm as the brain feeds on it. the right level of sugar will also prevent cortisol from waking up and reproducing itself
  • speaking of cortisol, it is a stress hormone. it is naturally highest in the morning and at night. if you go to bed stressed out you will be producing more of it and panic is sure to hit you first thing when you wake up
  • minor unresolved problems. hey, never underestimate the power of “small”. resolve problems before you hit the sack tonight
  • consumption of alcohol -- you might want to go easy on this because the feeling of relaxation it gives you will completely reverse a few hours later or, for sure, the morning after
my next post will be on ways to deal with morning anxiety. i will also share how i personally conquered it in the simplest, most doable ways possible. no drugs and money involved, i promise.

keep reading and don’t forget to share!

stress anxiety panic attack fatigue stress at work fear paranoia paranoid low self-esteem depression sadness psycho therapy



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