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Anxiety And Alcohol Use, How To Manage Hangxiety


What happens in our body when we feel anxiety? Panic disorder is a serious and prevalent psychiatric disease, which is believed to be related to serotonin function. Serotonin plays an important role in our bodies when we talk about controlling our emotions, attention and motivation. In other words a person who has anxiety or panic attacks have an increased level of serotonin. If we drink alcohol, it temporarily boosts serotonin levels, but when we sober up, the serotonin levels go down. That is the point when “hangxiety” kicks in.

Most likely we have all been in situations where after a fun night out, we feel regret, shame and lack of motivation the next day. Many times there are even no physical signs of hangover, like headace, nausea or rapid heart beat, but we are just feeling so low that it is hard to even get out of the bed. This is HANGXIETY.

How to get over hangxiety? Here are three simple steps to make you feel better.

1. Deep breathing 4-7-8 against anxiety and panic attacks

Begin by closing your mouth and inhale counting to 4, then hold your breathe for a count of 7, exhale completely through your mouth making whoosh sound to count of 8. Repeat for as long as your heart rate drops. In fact several studies have shown how deep breathing can slow down your heart rate and reduce blood preassure. It also reduces the “fight or flight” response that causes anxiety and/or tension. I have been using this breathing technique for many years to fight with anxiety and panic attacks. Here is a video how to use 4-7-8 breathing method:

Breathing exercises for anxiety
Deep breathing 4-7-8 for anxiety

2. Mindful meditation to help manage the anxiety

For me meditation is really hard, because my mind is always busy with millions of thoughts, worries and different feelings and it is so hard to switch them off. But when you have a hangxiety episode, I’m pretty sure you are ready to try anything to feel better. Take some time for yourself, let yourself feel everything – quilt, anxiety, regret, shame, headace … and then let them go. Here is another easy youtube video for hangover:

Meditation against anxiety
Mindful meditation

3. Low intensity training against hangxiety

NO, you shouldn’t go to gym to lift weights, or run a marathon! But there are some gentle workouts for you, like stretching, yoga, walking or swimming to help you with managing the hangxiety. It helps you stimulate the production of endorphins and it is a natural way of relieving pain and stress. But you should eat something healthy before you start your hangover treatment workout, because your blood sugar is low due to alcohol use and you could get the “shakes”. Eat something that helps you produce serotonin like eggs, salmon, spinach and seeds. So bye bye anxiety!

Yoga as anxiety treatment

Anyway, it is always recommended to take a second before another fun night out and think about the next day, drink responsibly, after every glass of alcohol drink a glass of water. Always eat something before drinking! Life is too short to feel anxiety or hangxiety.

La Pura Vida


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