Anxiety affects us all in different ways, choosing the most random and inconvenient moments to strike. It’s an issue that is notoriously difficult to manage, but one that affects more people than you might think. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental conditions in America, affecting over 40 million adults — the majority of whom don’t ever get any treatment.
Bouts of morning anxiety are particularly crippling, tainting the rest of your day and making it difficult for you to reorganize your thoughts. Here are five things you can do in order to prevent these unwanted attacks.
Prepare your clothes for the next morning
While we all have to make some decisions in the morning, picking out a good outfit, especially if you have an important event coming up, can take a lot of energy and time out of you. Prevent decision fatigue by selecting your outfit the night before and eliminating some of your morning stress.
Disconnect from all devices before going to bed
Blue light, which comes out of all laptop and smartphone screens, can disrupt your sleep patterns and prevent your body from producing melatonin, a key hormone for a healthy sleep cycle. On a more basic level, the presence of constant notifications and the need to check social media can stress you out, prevent you from relaxing and make you feel anxious and nervous.
Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning
If your phone is also your alarm clock, it’s easy to enter the news cycle first thing in the morning. This practice is very time consuming and addictive, reducing the amount of time you have to get ready for your day. Social media is also stressful, affecting the quality of your morning and triggering anxiety. If you need some space from technology, buy a separate alarm clock and try to carry out your morning rituals as efficiently as possible.
Acknowledge your anxiety
Ignoring your anxiety and pretending it doesn’t exist is a trick that doesn’t work, intensifying the feeling and making it even stronger. You should change the way in which you approach your anxiety, accepting it and trying to overcome it in a way that is healthy and that has a purpose.
Practice breathing exercises
These exercises are simple and can be done whenever your anxiety strikes, reminding your brain that you’re still in control. Breathe in and be present throughout the process, feeling the air filling your rib cage and your lungs. Repeat until you feel calm and are able to find relief.