Do you struggle with morning anxiety? Do you wake up feeling dysregulated or full of tension and worry?
Your body has a natural response when you wake each morning by routinely releasing the stress hormone cortisol. During the first 30-45 minutes after you wake up each day your cortisol levels spike.
This is called your Cortisol Awake Response. The cortisol can combine with the release of adrenaline in your body each morning to naturally cause extra tension.
This tension may then activate your stress response system.
It could also be that your brain may be overworking during your sleep cycle, for whatever reason. Or perhaps your diet may be causing your morning anxiety.
The good news is there are ways to stop waking up anxious and even transforming to morning calmness.
Your food and drink consumption
Let’s start with your diet. Are you aware there are low-stress foods that you can integrate into your diet?
Do you eat late at night? Do you have a healthy breakfast every morning? Your eating habits and patterns directly impact your levels of stress and anxiety.
You should especially focus on a healthy breakfast. Low blood sugar in the morning can cause similar body reactions to feeling anxious. Try including breakfast foods with magnesium, such as whole grains, bran, fish, almonds, cashews and hazelnuts.
How about beverages? Are you consuming too much caffeine or alcohol? Both will impact your body’s release of stress chemicals.
Your nighttime rituals
What do you do right before you go to bed? Is your brain electrically charged from social media or other technology? Do you watch a lot of TV or other screen time right before bed?
Even though you switch off your devices right before you close your eyes, research shows your brain has a hard time switching off that part for hours after.
Try listening to some soothing, instrumental music or perhaps nature sounds before going to sleep. There are lots of sleep-focused playlists available that can help you calm your mind.
You may even try something new musically like binaural beats, a technique of combining two slightly different sound frequencies to create the perception of a single new frequency tone.
Binaural beats are a fascinating and exciting technology that harnesses the brain’s responsiveness to sound to move you into a state of deep relaxation, relieve anxiety, and help you sleep better.
Consider meditative breathing before going to sleep. Getting your mind and body in sync while relaxing your central nervous system can help you with deeper sleep patterns. Focus on your intentional breathing, with your exhales extended twice as long as your inhales, which will lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Your morning wakeup process
What is your ritual for waking up each morning? Does an alarm jolt you into the new day, and perhaps you’re way too familiar with the snooze button.
A more brain-friendly way of waking up will reduce your morning anxiety. A focused morning routine will offer you control and provide repetitive patterns, which is soothing to your brain.
Being intentional about your mental health in the first two hours of your day will set the tone for your entire waking period. Morning exercise, setting limits on social media and phone use, and other self regulation strategies will help you eliminate your morning anxiety.
Practice daily journaling
Free form journaling, art expression or doodling will help you work out your anxious feelings. Journaling to start your day can be an extremely effective way to reduce your morning anxiety.
Consistent daily journaling will:
- Help you sort out and face your problems and fears
- Empower you by redirecting and refocusing your thoughts.
- Help you track and notice daily symptoms that are emotionally triggering for you.
- Help you identify negative self talk and self sabotaging behavior.
- Improve your physical health (reduce effects of asthma and arthritis
- Help you develop plans to build your resilience
- Help you let go of negative thoughts and experiences
Schedule time to meditate
Beginning your day with ways to quiet your mind will help rid you of your morning anxiety. Mindfulness and meditation will help you control your thoughts, rather than your thoughts controlling you.
During meditation, you can access your brain’s theta waves, which will allow you into parts of your brain that stores implicit memories, which may be causing your anxiety. The calming of your mind will let your brain reprocess those hard to retrieve memories.
You don’t have to wake up anxious each morning. With intentional and purposeful strategies to meet the needs of your anxious brain, you can move to calmness and joy as your wakeup call.
Change your stress, change your life. Begin with your FREE Daily Stress Log.