Hangxiety: Know the Psychological Reasons behind Hangover
Awareness Health

Hangxiety: Know the Psychological Reasons behind Hangover


Well, we have seen not all the people who drink alcohol experience hangovers and anxiety. Some people just wake up the following day, ready for breakfast and work like nothing happened while some just stay in the blanket till they get over their uneasiness of the hangxiety. Even among the people who experience hangxiety, there is a difference in severity and duration of the feelings. There are a range of factors that come into play like genetics, age, gender, overall health and drinking patterns. It has been found that people with poor emotional regulation are susceptible to hangxiety.

Read More: The Jellinek Curve: Five Phases of Alcohol Addiction

Also in another recent study, researchers found that highly shy individuals are more likely to suffer from hangover anxiety. The study involved ninety-seven people with varying degrees of shyness who were drinking socially. Fifty participants were asked to drink as they normally would, and forty-seven participants were asked to stay sober. The researchers measured anxiety levels before, during, and after either the drinking or the abstaining period. The results showed that people with higher levels of shyness were more likely to have higher anxiety levels the next day. (Beth Marsh a b)

Read More: Know About the Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Our Mental well-being

Impact on Mental Health:

Alcohol of course gives a temporary feeling of calmness and uninhibition. But it does more harm than good. Keeping aside the physical damages that accompany heavy drinking like liver and kidney problems, people also experience mental distress due to drinking. For example, alcohol addiction is a mental health condition that requires professional help.

Now coming to the side effect of alcohol that we are currently talking about, hangxiety. Prolonged and recurrent hangxiety episodes can contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety disorders, sustaining a cycle of alcohol use and mental distress. Furthermore, individuals may experience feelings of guilt and self-criticism which worsens the anxiety symptoms.

How to Deal With Hangxiety:

When you experience hangxiety there are a few things you can do.

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of water can help speed up the recovery process of hangxiety.
  2. Treating the physical symptoms: First looking after the physical symptoms of a hangover like fatigue, headache and nausea can help you feel better and relax. You can do that by taking some pain medication like paracetamol.
  3. Drink in moderation: The less amount of alcohol you drink, the less time your body will require to restore its balance. And you will experience less hangover and anxiety.
  4. Healthy and balanced diet: Having a healthy and balanced diet before drinking can slow down alcohol absorption and prevent you from feeling heavy anxiety symptoms.
  5. Get sleep: Alcohol disrupts sleep patterns which increases anxiety. Hence try to sleep if you can.
  6. Grounding techniques: Not only for hangxiety but also when you experience anxiety you can practice some grounding techniques to calm yourself down. For example, breathing techniques like the box breathing method where you take in a breath for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds and give it out for 4 seconds continuing it.
  7. Avoid Caffeine intake: If you are already feeling anxious avoid taking caffeine as it may worsen the symptoms.
  8. Move your body: A little bodily activity like taking a walk, a small workout or even dancing if you like would do wonders for your anxiety.
  9. Seeking support: Talking to trusted friends, family members and mental health professionals about hangxiety and related concerns can provide validation, guidance, and coping strategies.

Hangxiety emphasizes the intricate interplay between alcohol and mental health, highlighting the importance of mindful drinking practices and holistic self-care. Not everyone develops hangxiety, but it is a pretty common phenomenon. Alcohol causes dependency in people and it can lead to alcohol abuse disorder. The pop culture has made us believe that alcohol is required for every celebration and heartbreak. But that is not the case.

Sure, alcohol provides great comfort and an evening of fun, but the next day might make you regret your choices. Well drinking alcohol is not a crime or not even bad if done occasionally but when it is taken in extreme quantities and has started to affect your daily life, maybe it is a sign to cut back on it. And if you are not able to do it you must look out to get professional support. And if it is an occasional thing then you can follow the tips mentioned above to deal with its symptoms.

References +
  • https://adf.org.au/insights/what-is-hangxiety/
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/hangover-anxiety
  • https://www.health.qld.gov.au/newsroom/features/hangxiety-why-alcohol-can-leave-you-feeling-anxious
  • https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/27/hangxiety-why-alcohol-gives-you-a-hangover-and-anxiety
  • https://www.psycom.net/addiction-substance-abuse/hangxiety

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