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How to Overcome Morning Dread & Depression After Waking Up

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Are you experiencing a dreadful feeling in the mornings? If so, find out why and how you can overcome morning dread today!

how to overcome morning dread

Do you struggle with feeling really down in the mornings?

What about dreading the day ahead, do you wake up completely at a loss for your life come morning time?

Or is your anxiety worse in the mornings, making the start of your day a huge challenge for you?

If so, then you may also have that familiar sense of doom that is ever-consuming just after you first wake up. 

And as a consequence of your negative mindset, your mind will be either speeding into the future or regretting the past. Thus, making you regret that you have woken up in the first place. 

So if you can relate to any of the above? You may be suffering from more than just a bad mood.

Because both morning dread and depression can grab hold of anyone at any moment.

And in most cases, it’s usually the morning time that can seem to be the most dreadful time of the day.

However, if you are experiencing this, you are not alone in your feelings! 

Moreover, you can turn things around and make your mornings feel wonderful again.

But before you take a look at the list, please seek the help of a doctor over anything else that you read today. If you are depressed and need professional and medical help, there is no shame in seeking professional care. 

But hopefully, after today you can uplift your spirit and feel a little bit better after you first wake up in the mornings.

Here are some powerful and effective habits you can do to combat morning dread!


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What is morning dread?

Morning dread or another way to put it morning anxiety occurs when you get up in the morning and feel dread that intensifies as you look at the day ahead. Experiencing this day after day could be a sign it is time to change your job or lifestyle.


What is the cause of morning dread?

Morning dread is caused by a biological hormone called Cortisol (often called the “stress hormone”) which is elevated in the first hour of waking up for those who are experiencing stress.

Even though people can sometimes feel some level of control over their worry cycle, however, experiencing it in the morning on a daily basis can lead to being unable to stop worrying as a habit.


Is it normal to feel dread in the morning?

Anxiety disorder sufferers often feel so anxious and dreadful that they want to hide under the covers, rather than face the day after they wake up.

It is normal to feel morning dread once in a while, however, when feeling this way every day it can become detrimental to leading a happy and well-balanced life.

In addition, there are many ways to reduce anxiety in the mornings and wake up excited about starting the day every day.

Here are a few powerful and life-changing habits on how to combat morning dread. 


How to combat morning dread

5 effective ways to combat morning depression

1. Try not to worry about the future.

Anxiety is a future-oriented mental state. So instead of worrying about the future in the morning, Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., psychologist, and author of Freeing Yourself From Anxiety says that you should “reel yourself back into the present moment”.

She suggests making an appointment to meet with yourself later in the day to review your worries and to ensure that distant scenarios don’t distract you in the present moment.

Then later in the day, you can ask yourself questions such as, “What’s happening? Am I safe? Do I have something that I should do?”, at a time when you feel more in control. 


2. Fact-check your thoughts.

Morning dread can come in many forms such as anxiety and it can lead to a fixation on the worst-case scenario when it strikes.

However, these worries can be easily overcome by focusing on how realistic they actually are.

For example, imagine you are nervous about a presentation at work. Instead of thinking, “I’m going fail,” you can say, “I am nervous, but I have everything prepared.”

Rethinking your fears like this can help train your brain to find a rational way of dealing with anxious thoughts especially if you are dreading something you need to do later in the day.


3. Discover your reason.

On the days you absolutely feel like you can’t get out of bed, what’s a reason inside of you that can compel you to get out of bed to seek after it?

We can’t achieve our full potential if we stop pursuing our dreams and if we seek happiness in the wrong places, then all that suppressed energy can have a negative impact on our ability to reach our highest potential.

A constant negative loop can also be caused by a lack or inability to get out of bed each day, or if you don’t find your purpose or reason for living each day.

What can you do to turn things around? Don’t give up on your goals and keep pursuing them every day. Find your purpose for getting up each morning and follow it daily.

You’ll feel more motivated to strive for more when you are able to accomplish a little bit each day.


4. Use the 3-3-3 rule.

When your morning dread is taking center stage, follow the 333 rule.

Look around you and name three things that you see around you. Next, identify three sounds that you hear. Next, move your ankle, fingers, or arm.

Doing this mental trick will help you to center your mind and bring you back to the moment whenever you feel your brain moving at 100 mph.


5. Breathe in and exhale.

Deep breathing can really help you relax when you need to. And while you might have heard of specific breathing exercises, there is no need to count out breaths to relax.

All you have to do is focus on inhaling evenly and exhaling evenly. That’s all. Doing so will help slow down your mind and help you re-center to start the day in a great mental state.


6. Do something else.

Take a break, get up and walk around, or take out the trash from your home. Jump in the shower, make a cup of tea, and just do something that will distract you from feeling dreadful.

Any action that disrupts your thought process, especially when you are feeling depressed or dreading having to do something, will also help you feel more in control.


7. Set a regular wake-up time as opposed to a fixed bedtime.

5 effective ways to combat morning depression

You most likely have poor sleep hygiene if you wake up feeling depressed or anxious in the morning.

Depression can take many forms and you should seek medical attention if you feel you need it. However, good sleep is crucial for how you feel when you wake up.

Additionally, if you don’t have a regular time to wake up each morning, your biological system can be disrupted and you may feel depressed or out of control when you wake up.

Since a large part of our happiness is dependent on our sleep patterns and wake times, our sleep can become very fragile if we don’t pay enough attention.

Therefore, if you are inconsistent with your sleep schedule, know that it is better to have it set at the exact same time every morning than to go to bed at the same time every night.

A healthy sleep routine is good for your body’s clock. Your biological clock will know when you should get up each morning and will feel naturally tired in the evenings, so this pattern can continue.

Plus, once you have your body in the right rhythm, your moods should improve as time passes.


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8. Pick a daily relaxation habit.

5 effective ways to combat morning depression

Depression often results when one part of our brain demands we should make a move, yet alternate parts oppose this idea.

It’s like we are run by a negative committee and unfortunately when it comes to depression that committee usually out rules the taking action part of our brains (like waking up with a smile) because it wants to keep us safe.

How does this relate to the morning time and how we feel?

Well, if we don’t have daily sources of relaxation and/or joy OR if we go too long without help, parts of our brain will actually go on strike, and eventually, depression will ensue.

That’s why finding a daily habit that’s both unwinding and stimulating is something that you should make time for each and every day.   

Get outdoors more, walk around the block, or commit to listening to a 5 min meditation to relax the mind. Your mind needs self-care.

The more self-care and healing you provide your brain the better you can move on to bigger goals that require more self-discipline, time, and energy so you can wake up feeling not so depressed.


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5 Effective Ways to Combat Morning Depression


9. Have a word with yourself.

After you first wake up, try talking yourself into a better mood.

Studies show that if you look at yourself in the mirror and talk to yourself (in a positive way out loud) it’ll retrain your mind to keep out negative distractions and also remind yourself of where you would like to go and be in your life.

Make a new commitment to yourself that you’ll get out of this rut no matter what it takes, and say it out loud to yourself. 

Facing yourself shows that you are serious and that you really mean business to change this around.


10. Find a goal and stick with it.

5 effective ways to combat morning depression

What’s your main goal for your life?

If you don’t have a life goal big enough to make you look forward to getting out of bed, something that at every moment when you’re awake you look forward to working towards?

You’ll, of course, sleep in and wake up depressed. Without goals, depression will always take its space. 

So make your goals tangible and something that you can accomplish and take action every single day.

Once you start taking little steps towards your goals, you’ll start getting more and more excited in the mornings to get out of bed to conquer them.

And if you do have goals and you still lack the motivation to get up out of bed? Maybe your goals aren’t big enough? 


How to overcome morning dread and depression final thoughts

You can definitely change things around if you are currently waking up in the mornings and are feeling a sense of hopelessness. 

Remember, try not to take no for an answer, and don’t surrender your reason to wake up happy.

Also, do whatever is fundamentally good for you to get out of this rut, and hopefully, you will start feeling more positive in the mornings.

After all, this is your life so make a point to try to make each morning count!


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Author: Everything Abode

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11 Ways To Break Bad Habits That You Haven’t Tried Yet - Everything Abode

Thursday 26th of August 2021

[…] How to Wake Up Early Without Feeling Depressed […]


Wednesday 10th of February 2021

This really helped me a lot. I didn't even know I had morning depression until I read this. Thank you so much ❤️


Friday 12th of February 2021

Glad you found it beneficial!