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Re: Why is anxiety worse in the morning?
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Published: 8 years ago
This is a reply to # 2,231,003

Re: Why is anxiety worse in the morning?

Madsheila, I'm sorry I missed your post, and I'm sorry that you're experiencing what sounds like PTSD symptoms.

Waking up in the middle of sleep from anxiety and in the morning are physiological and psychological.  The physiology might be something as simple as sleep apnea - not that it's a "simple" condition, as it contributes to anxiety, depression, fatigue, physical pain, stroke, and heart attacks.  The psychological aspect is that we are "startled" when we wake up - we feel disoriented and unsafe because we are not recovered and healed, yet. 

If you have experienced catastrophic traumas, it might be an excellent option to engage in some strong counseling therapy with a specialist that deals specifically with trauma.  It might take a couple of times to find a good fit, but a good counselor will provide tools, techniques, and guidance with identifying and processing the traumatic events. 

Nearly ALL of my responses to anxiety involve the option of counseling therapy with a trauma specialist, mainly because we are simply not equipped to go it, alone.  If we talk to friends and family, we are often dismissed (which exacerbates the anxiety, depression, etc), and we receive bogus information. 

Also, group support might be a superb option.

For me, I have formulated personal rituals to calm my mind.  I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea, which explains why I would get 2 hours of sleep and spend the rest of the night thrashing with nightmares.  I still have nightmares, but I don't have them for the whole night.  At least, I am finally getting some deep sleep before the nightmares occur.

Personal rituals can include anything that is POSITIVE for you.  Anything that keeps your mind in the present.  Traumatized individuals typically live in the past and future.  Living in "The Now" takes practice, but it really works.  The first time my counseling therapist ever told me about this technique, I honestly and truly believed that she was telling me some voodoo bullshit so that I'd stop crying and get the heck out of her office.  Well..........the technique is widely practiced and here's how it goes:

As soon as I recognize that I'm falling down the rabbit hole of anxiety, I say (out loud, sometimes) to myself, "I am sitting in a chair with my left ankle crossed over my right ankle.  I can feel the arm of the chair and it's smooth wood.  I can see that there is snow falling outside.  I feel a slight draft against my left cheek.  I can smell my coffee brewing."  ............and, so on.  This exercise is used to bring us into the present.  It doesn't "work" the first time, nor will it work the second time.  But, the more I practiced, and the more I controlled my breathing in conjunction with this technique, the calmer I become.  Now, it's second-nature for me to get into "The Now" when I'm feeling myself begin to spin out of control.

Another technique is EFT-tapping.  I typed this in another response, but it truly is not some kind of mystical, secret thing.  Crossing the arms (or, wrists), tap the opposite shoulder or upper thigh (if you cross your wrists and lay your hands in your lap) using an alternating rhythm.  Left-hand-taps-right-shoulder, right-hand-taps-left-shoulder, left-hand-taps-right-shoulder, and so on.  At the same time, it is a great option to add a positive affirmation while controlling the breathing in to the count of four and exhaling to the count of five.  "I'm okay, and okay is good enough," was my go-to mantra when I was either tapping, or meditating.  The theory behind this technique is that it forces both the right and left hemispheres of the brain to work, together, and come into a balance and center.  That way, the "emotional self" isn't calling the proverbial shots and feeding the anxiety until it's a full-on meltdown.

Whichever techniques you choose to practice, it might be an excellent option to look into counseling therapy with a trauma specialist.  I know that I would have long ago lost my mind had I not found the counselors that I did. 

Brightest blessings to you


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