Morning Dread – What it is. What to do.

Good morning. Cara Bradley here. Welcome to your Daily Whisper.

I am assuming that you are listening to this in the morning for some reason, because I guess I often record them in the morning.

Well, this is a Monday morning. And I will tell you I’m a little shaky. I thought I would turn on my mic because I think it’s important for you to realize that we all go through the highs, the lows, the peaks, the valleys of experience. And I’m not immune. You’re not immune.

It’s never going to be all sunshine out there and it’s completely normal to sometimes feel a little shaky. In fact, I think it’s really good. 

Today I woke up with morning dread. Morning dread happens when you wake up and can’t fall back asleep, your mind races about all of the things you need, can’t do, should do, didn’t do. You start thinking about your relationships that aren’t perfect, the job that isn’t moving forward, where you live and how much money you have or don’t have. And it all comes crashing into your mind—all at once. 

A few years ago, I was waking up, sometimes at like three in the morning, and I’d get up because I just had so much of this messiness in my mind. 

I realized a lot of it was neuro-chemical. In the early morning, our cortisol levels start to increase. Cortisol is the neurochemical that that gets us into action When cortisol is too it high causes chronic stress. I had been experiencing adrenal fatigue, which is simply another way of saying that my cortisol levels were imbalanced. In other words, my levels were peaking too early in the morning and crashing early in the afternoon. 

Call it chronic stress. I called it an emotional roller coaster. This may be some of what you’re dealing with as well. 

In the last couple of years, I’ve been able to get this all in check. Thank goodness. 

I did this by focusing on the core practices for building mental fitness—including getting my gut-brain connection cleaned up, cleared up and working properly. (find all that information in the show notes).

There are specific things we can do to help cortisol levels balance out so that it peak later in the early morning, not at 3am, but maybe at 6 or 7am. When balanced, cortisol will start to fall to the lowest levels when we’re ready to go to sleep.

So… when you wake up in the morning—like I did this morning—with a lot of thinking happening, remind yourself that it might be neuro-chemical. It might be cortisol on the rise. 

In other words, don’t take it all so personally. Try to remove yourself from the stream of thoughts.

For example, this morning I said… okay, Cara…  you’re either you’re going to fall back asleep or get up and meditate and allow the thinking mind,  the busy mind to settle. So that’s what I did. I got up and I put on a guided meditation because I knew that I could not do it alone. I gave myself time to settle and to drop below all the busy thinking. I felt just like a churned up pond. You know, when the water is muddy and mercy?

I knew that in the midst of the muddy water, I wasn’t going to make any sense of anything, I gave myself the time I needed in the “room on my own.” I allowed myself a good half hour to go down deep beneath the waves and settle into a clearer, calmer way of being. 

In closing, this is all to say that you are going to wake up with morning dread from time to time. Recognize that it’s likely a neuro-chemical shift that makes us feel super awake—that gets the engine running. Remember that sometimes morning dread comes in the form of frantic thinking and sometimes it comes in the form of anxiety or anxious thoughts.

What you can do right away, off the bat, is to do something— go for a walk or meditation. Give yourself time to allow yourself to shift out of the thinking mind and just recognize it’s part physical. And it’s not to say it’s going to all go away. I’m trying to give you a different perspective on just labeling everything anxiety—because that’s not helpful either. A

I hope my experience shines a light on what you may be experiencing.

And if you want to know what I’ve done, specifically to shift my cortisol levels back into a more balanced date it’s called MentaBiotics. This powder is a probiotic ,prebiotic phytobiotic blend that helped me improve my stress resiliency and get my cortisol levels back in check. It’s the mental fitness product I recommend the most. 

Cara Bradley - Motivational Speaker and Author

Cara Bradley

Mind-Body Training

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