Waking Up Anxious

Every morning I wake up and the first thing I notice is the thumping of my heart; the way it skips a beat every now and then; the pressure on my chest; and the need to gasp for air because I can’t get enough oxygen into my lungs. 

Every morning I wake up with these anxious heart palpitations and other symptoms and I’m starting to wonder if there is something legitimately physically wrong with me. I’ve looked up symptoms and talked to my therapist and I know the most likely cause is my generalised anxiety, but I can’t make sense of it because it happens even in the absence of an anxious mental state. I even had a ton of tests on my heart in Boston, when my heart rate would go as high as 130bpm solely because of anxiety, and apparently my heart is fine.

It feels so out of my control and manifests so physically, so I use breathing and other TIPP skills every morning to try regulate and calm my body, which takes about 10-20 minutes – or longer when I am mentally anxious or have had a nightmare, which can sometimes make it last hours or more. 

I had noticed until today that it was definitely less intense being on holiday in Florida, and also sharing a bedroom and a bed with my sisters (not being alone always helps). But then today I woke up and it was back as strong as ever again. It’s not like it is life-threatening but it is certainly unpleasant and scary. I’m so used to it – too used to it – but it’s been going on for months and years now on and off and I think I need to do something about it… although I’m not quite sure what because I really don’t want to go back on meds. 

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