Anxiety upon waking up is a problem that can be very damaging. It is a psychological and physiological state characterized by accelerated and negative thoughts during the first hours of the day.
In this article, we will talk about this symptomatology of this type of anxiety, we will see what are its common causes, and we will give some specific recommendations to overcome or prevent morning anxiety.
What is anxiety upon waking up?
Anxiety is considered pathological when it is frequent and intense, which can affect different areas of the lives of those who have it. In the particular case of anxiety on waking, we find the symptomatology of an anxious picture, but it does not appear until the transition to the waking state and in the minutes that follow. Anxiety states can happen to anyone and to some extent are normal.
When the day begins and the subject transitions from sleep to wakefulnessThis is accompanied by a series of signs and symptoms corresponding to the state of anxiety upon awakening. The anxious person will assume that things will be bad for them before they even start to take the action.
Signs and symptoms
Let’s take a look at the signs of anxiety upon waking up.
- Excessive sweating.
- Accelerated breathing.
These symptoms are widely presented by an imbalance in cortisol levels, Which tend to be higher at the start of the day, but when they are too high, that is when the aforementioned signs occur. As a result of these signs, our mind begins to have catastrophic thoughts, which have their most intense peak in the morning hours, and as the hours go by, they diminish, along with the rest of the physiological reactions.
Unlike signs, symptoms of an emotional and psychological nature are not directly observable and, in most cases, respond to the subject’s subjectivity. These can be clarified by the speech of the person presenting them, during the verbalization of their thoughts..
Thus, the symptoms of anxiety upon waking up are characterized mainly by a negative state of thinking about everything they have had to do during the day they start. Let’s take a look at some of these ways of thinking:
- Excessive concern for signs (sweating, tremors, etc.).
- Desire to control everything.
- Excessive planning.
- Intolerance of uncertainty.
Paradoxically, the attempt made by the subject to reduce his anxiety which he realizes is to increase it, taking into account the fact that he does not manage to have total control of the situation. promotes stress maintenance. It ends up being even more frustrating, as a result of which the person spends the early hours of the day with a lot of anxiety and fails to be productive in the morning.
As we mentioned earlier, too high levels of cortisol during the morning hours are a cause of morning anxiety, but they are not the only ones. There are also personal and environmental factors which tend to explode this type of anxiety in people. The main ones are as follows.
1. Procrastination (postponing important things)
When you quit an activity that is a priority, you get immediate satisfaction from not having to do it right away, but you add a stressor in the medium term. Finally, we will have to perform this activity, and the longer we postpone it, the higher our level of anxiety in the morning can be.
2.overloading activities (do not delegate functions)
When we are used to doing everything on our own, without asking for help of any kind, this is when we are most likely to wake up with anxiety.
The more activities we have to perform, the higher the level of energy and commitment we have to invest. We won’t always be able to do everything for ourselvesAnd if we can do this, we must ask ourselves: at what cost?
3. Cognitive dissonance
This refers to the fact that when our actions are not in the same direction as our thoughts and principles, a feeling of contradiction is generated in us, What our mind unconsciously strives to justify logically.
This way when we do something that we don’t think is right, we give our brains the task of justifying it, avoiding feeling like we have gone against our morale and not feeling embarrassed. . In the morning, with high levels of cortisol, our brains are prone to stress, and the more cognitive dissonance we have, the higher our anxiety level in the morning.
Treatment: what should be done to remedy it?
We are now going to look at a number of useful recommendations for reducing your anxiety level in the morning. This way you can make the first few hours of your day healthier.
1. Sleep schedules: which allow you to sleep between 6 and 8 hours
Adopting a daily sleep routine that ensures adequate brain rest (restful sleep) helps control cortisol levels in the morning and avoids the signs that usually occur.
2. Light dinner: avoid overeating before going to bed.
Large meals can cause us discomfort during the night that prevent us from having a good quality of sleep, which increases our level of morning anxiety.
3. Morning relaxation techniques: Breathe before starting the day
When you wake up, before getting out of bed, take a series of guided breaths. Do it as follows; take air through your nose and bring it to your lungs, hold it here for a few seconds (10-15), then let it out through your mouth in a calm and controlled manner. As if you were gently blowing out a candle, repeat the procedure several times, until you feel a general state of relaxation.
- Iacovou S. (2011). What is the difference between existential anxiety and so-called neurotic anxiety ?: “The sine qua non of a true vitality”: an examination of the difference between existential anxiety and neurotic anxiety. Existential analysis. 22 (2): 356-367.
- Rosen JB, Schulkin J. (1998). “From normal fear to pathological anxiety.” Psychological review. 105 (2): 325-50.