When you think of the perfect morning, what comes to mind? Rushing around late, spilling coffee down your front, missing the train or being late for work? We didn’t think so. We did some research on stress reduction and found several ways to reduce stress in the morning—and if your mornings are more peaceful, chances are the rest of your day will be, too.
Morning Anxiety is Real
For most people, when we are asleep in our warm and comfy beds, the sound of the alarm clock buzzing can be a trigger for morning anxiety. These feelings of anxiousness lead to dreading the day ahead and that can make you even more anxious and even feel overwhelmed before you even get out of bed. Here are a few tips, some natural remedies for anxiety and ways to reduce feelings of anxiousness in the morning:
- Change Your Alarm Sounds: If your alarm clock is loud and obnoxious, try switching it out with an alarm clock that also plays music. Tune it to a radio station that plays classical or calming music. There are also alarm clocks with built-in CD players, or iPod docks. With one of these you can wake up to your personal choice of music or sounds instead of the dreaded bleeping buzzing sound. This will reduce your stress in the morning.
- Get a Nice Robe and Slippers: Leave these at the foot of your bed so that you can put them on as soon as you get out from underneath your covers. For most people, the house is cold first thing in the morning, but if you are wearing a nice comfortable robe and have soft slippers on your feet, you can be comfy while you get up and make coffee to start your day.
Blood Sugar Could Be the Cause
Another reason for feeling bad in the morning is that you’ve slept all night and it’s been many hours since you ate last. This early morning low blood sugar can definitely affect mood, irritability, even dizziness or feeling weak. If this applies to you, you may want to keep a Ziploc baggie of crackers, almonds or another light snack food within reach so that your blood glucose levels get a boost before you have to stand all the way up after waking. You might even put a cup of juice on your night table the night before, and drink it first thing when you wake up. When the brain runs out of fuel (sugars), it causes the body to produce an overabundance of cortisol (the stress hormone that makes you fat), and adrenaline, which can cause increased heart rate, mental confusion, panic attacks, nervousness and more. Who needs that first thing in the morning, day after day?
The Power of Positive Thinking
Our thoughts have a lot of power over how we perceive things. The same applies to how you feel upon waking every morning. One way to start the day on a more positive note is to think of five positive things before you even get out of bed. Some people make it a practice to think of five things they are grateful for before they get up. These positive thoughts set the tone for the rest of your day, so it is worth taking the time to do it. Many people feel anxious over things that “might” happen. These are dead-end thoughts. These dead-end thoughts are usually about the day ahead, such as worrying about something at work or obsessing over getting perfect grades at school. Such negative thinking tends to attract more negative thoughts so before you know it, you’re all worked up (over nothing) before you even get out of bed! Stop these dead-end thoughts in their tracks and think of your gratitude list instead, or if you pray, have the prayer next to the bed and start your day with that instead.
Your New Morning Ritual
So the idea here is to create a positively charged morning ritual that will help ease the morning anxiety you’ve felt in the past. When you wake up to peaceful music or chimes, put on your new robe and comfy slippers, eat your healthy morning snack and maybe do a little “happy morning dance” to start your day off right, you’ll wake up and get going feeling wonderful! If you’re a coffee drinker, set the coffee the night before so that it’s hot and ready for you first thing in the morning!
If you have been suffering from morning anxiety for a long time, it may take a few days to work these new rituals into your morning. Once you have established these new and more positive morning habits though, you will without a doubt notice a difference in the levels of anxiety. The feelings of panic will subside. Instead of starting your day off anxious, irritated and grumpy, you can be thankful for a fresh new day and start things off on a more peaceful and positive note!
- Repich, Deanne. (2014). “Understanding Morning Anxiety.” http://www.trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-emotional-intelligence/repich4.shtml. Internet. Retrieved 05 March 2015.
- Ankrom, Sheryl. (2014). “Tips to Reduce Morning Anxiety.” http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/livingwithpd/a/tipsmornanxiety.htm. Internet. Retrieved 05 March 2015.