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How to Get Rid of Morning Anxiety

get rid morning anxiety healthyplaceMorning anxiety can be a shock to your system that lays the foundation for a long, anxiety-filled day. If you’ve ever been jolted awake by an obnoxious alarm clock and immediately started worrying about the day ahead and/or the mistakes you think you made yesterday, you’ve begun your day frantically and with anxiety. You don’t have to continue to live this way. Read on to learn how to get rid of morning anxiety.

Anxiety in the Morning

Experiencing anxiety in the morning is common. When we first wake up, we are predisposed to anxiety and stress. Morning anxiety, even extreme morning anxiety, has nothing to do with our flaws or weaknesses. It has much to do with our physiology.

It is in the morning that our bodies produce the greatest amount of cortisol (Manfred, n.d.). The surge of cortisol happens in order to wake us up. That’s not a problem. The issue is that cortisol also happens to be a stress hormone involved in our fight-or-flight response to danger. The increased production of cortisol contributes to morning anxiety in many people.

Our physiology’s involvement in morning anxiety doesn’t stop with cortisol. In the morning, we naturally have low blood sugar due to hours without food (Manfred, n.d.). Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can increase anxiety, and the physical symptoms of hypoglycemia mimic symptoms of a panic attack. If severe morning anxiety has you experiencing anxiety attacks before you even get out of bed, you may actually be experiencing hypoglycemia. Keeping healthy food by your bedside, such as whole grain crackers, unsalted nuts, or granola bars (not overly processed, full-of-refined-sugar granola bars) to eat first thing when you awaken can help head off that panicky feeling.

In addition to keeping healthy, energy-inducing snacks handy, there are other ways to get rid of morning anxiety.

Tips for Managing Morning Anxiety

Cortisol and low blood sugar are indeed contributing factors to morning anxiety. Anxiety in the morning is also typically one part of the bigger picture of your anxiety as a whole. Certain lifestyle changes can help get rid of anxiety in the morning.

  • Practice deep breathing during the day and upon waking up in the morning.
  • Exercise during the day, which reduces anxiety and keeps it at a consistently lower level.
  • Eliminate caffeine.
  • Decrease your exposure to news, as doing so reduces anxiety during the day and makes you less likely to wake up and instantly worrying,
  • Use an alarm that has a pleasant tone; being shocked awake by beeping and buzzing starts the heart racing, setting anxiety into motion even before your mind catches up.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene, such as going to bed early enough to allow for seven- to eight hours of sleep, making your room comfortable, and avoiding using anything with a screen an hour or two before bed can help you get enough sleep so you don’t wake up tired and ill-equipped to deal with anxiety.
  • Notice your negative thoughts and replace them with positive, realistic thoughts. Positive affirmations for anxiety work well for this. Have statements by your bed ready to go in the morning. Choosing a few statements to read and re-read is a great way to change anxious thoughts.
  • Create a relaxing morning ritual to give yourself a pleasant start to the morning.

Keep Morning Anxiety from Ruining Your Day

Sometimes, it’s hard to get rid of morning anxiety no matter what you do. This is actually okay. Experiencing even severe anxiety in the morning doesn’t have to set the tone for your whole day.

Anxiety demands attention, but the more you focus on it, the stronger it grows because that is where your thoughts and emotions lie. Rather than fighting with your morning anxiety, try these methods for distancing yourself so you can make a good day despite starting off with morning anxiety (Peterson, 2016).

  • Just observe your thoughts rather than getting tangled with them. It’s not the anxious thoughts that cause the most trouble; it’s how you react to them that can make your morning miserable.
  • Separate yourself from the content of the anxiety. If anxiety is telling you you’re worthless, for example, use a positive affirmation that replaces this thought with something accurate.
  • Remember your “why.” Why do you want to get up? What do you value in your day?
  • Action speaks louder than anxiety. You don’t need this anxiety to go away before you get up and act.

Morning is important because it sets your day. To get rid of morning anxiety, use the above tips, and create the right mindset to keep morning anxiety from ruining your day. Anxiety is loud, but it’s not in charge. You can deal with even severe morning anxiety and create a positive day.

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2017, April 18). How to Get Rid of Morning Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/anxiety/how-to-get-rid-of-morning-anxiety

Last Updated: June 18, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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