Hangxiety may be a term you’ve never heard of, but you’ve probably experienced the sensation if you’ve ever had a hangover. Not everyone faces hangxiety, but it’s quite miserable if you do. It’s important to know what hangxiety is and what you can do about it.
Hangxiety is a merge of two words – hangover and anxiety. So, in essence, it’s anxiety you experience the day after drinking alcohol. Of course, this is a simplistic explanation of a more complex condition, but it gives you the basic idea. For example, you may wake up after a night of partying and you realize what happened. You start to stress about what you did and feel guilty about drinking too much. You may worry about the repercussions.
Maybe you don’t remember everything that happened or even worse, you do and are embarrassed about your behavior. You dread running into your friends or co-workers who you were hanging out with.
While it’s normal to feel some concern about what you said and did, hangxiety heightens your response and increases your worry. It may help you to know this is a normal part of a hangover, and it will get better.
Hangxiety is more than just anxiety at what you’ve done or said. It is the result of a change in your brain chemistry. Alcohol increases your dopamine, the feel-good hormone, but after years of regularly drinking your brain produces less dopamine than before. This is because your body eventually gets used to the dopamine coming from drinking alcohol. Whenever you sober up your body is expecting the surge of dopamine from the alcohol that is frequently consumed; the lower levels of dopamine can lead to the lower levels of dopamine.
This condition is more than just physical or hormonal. It’s also impacted by your natural personality. Studies show that people who naturally have social anxiety or are just shy may be more likely to experience hangxiety.
How to Deal with or Prevent Hangxiety
The simplest way to prevent hangxiety is to not drink in the first place. Of course, this sounds a bit extreme, so you may want to adapt to what works for you. For instance, you may limit yourself to one or two drinks. Another option is to only drink with close friends or not drink with co-workers. Don’t drink at events where embarrassing yourself could have a major negative impact, such as an office party.
What should you do if you’ve already partied too hard and you’re now feeling anxiety with your hangover? Here are some strategies to make this time a little more bearable.
- Take CBD Tox after drinking in the morning to help you feel better faster
- Concentrate on your breathing. Slow it down by counting as you draw in a breath and let it out. You will soon feel your heart rate slow down as you begin to relax.
- Train your brain to focus on the present instead of going back to last night. You may need to come up with something that will occupy your mind. Meditation also works.
- Engage in positive self-talk. Remind yourself you’ve survived other things and you will now. Find positive things about you to remind yourself of.
- Take time to eat something but make it healthy. Avoid foods that will give you a sugar rush or other temporary high only to come crashing down again. Drink plenty of water, too.
- Create a plan. Now that you’ve experienced hangxiety for yourself, make a plan for what you will do next time.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that hangxiety is real. Don’t try to brush it off as no big deal or that you’re exaggerating your hangover. Be understanding of yourself and know that it’s part physical and part mental, which means you can’t just “get over it” like you want to. Find healthy ways to prevent and treat hangovers and you will feel less hangxiety when you have a few too many drinks.