3 Ways How Drinking Alcohol Gives You Anxiety

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Alcohol is a two sided knife, what it cuts away from you the night you drink it, is exactly what it stabs you with the next morning.

The most common thing people do to relax themselves is probably the dumbest thing you can do for relaxation.

Few beers can relax you, but the price for that relaxation will show up later. It will be the morning after when the effects of alcohol come swinging the opposite way.

David Nutt, professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, was the scientist fired back in 2009 for saying alcohol is more dangerous than ecstasy and LSD.

But years later people actually start to wake up and realize that what he said might actually be very true.

Alcohol might be one of the worst ways you can go about reducing your anxiety or getting more relaxed, as it creates the environment for the exact opposite.

3 Ways How Alcohol Makes You Anxious:

drinking-alcohol-gives-you-anxiety

1. Alcohol causes imbalance in the brain that leads to anxiety.

Drinking a couple of beers can make you more relaxed. It can even make you feel happier and better socialize with others.

Here is why. Alcohol stimulates the GABA receptors in your brain, they are responsible for calming down neural activity, so you feel the mental chatter fading away.

Another thing alcohol does is blocking the Glutamate transmitters. Basically, more Glutamate means more anxiety and alcohol blocks this neurotransmitter.

This looks perfect right now, doesn’t it? A perfect environment for being relaxed and happy. But it’s also the perfect environment for anxiety to arise.

This imbalance for your system is a signal that something is not as it should be, so it tries to balance it out by producing less GABA and more Glutamate.

The next morning, when the alcohol dries out of your system, you end up with the exact opposite configuration, less GABA meaning more neural excitement and more Glutamate.

2. Alcohol increases Noradrenaline.

When you have bigger neural activity and higher levels of Glutamate you tend to feel anxious. David Nutt calls this state ‘hangxiety’ describing how you feel the morning after.

If this is not bad enough, alcohol slightly increases the levels of Noradrenaline in your system, the ‘fight or flight’ hormone.

“Noradrenaline suppresses stress when you first take it, and increases it in withdrawal,” says Nutt. “Severe anxiety can be considered a surge of noradrenaline in the brain.”

3. Alcohol makes you forget the things that you did.

As we said, drinking alcohol blocks Glutamate, and that’s what you need to create memories. “You need glutamate to lay down memories,” says Nutt.

This chemical imbalance is the perfect storm for anxiety to arise. That’s why you feel ‘hangxiety’ the next morning. And you might not be even aware you feel it.

Let me ask you something, do you try to remember what you might have done the previous night and feel anxious even going over the little memories you do have?

Well that’s anxiety playing tricks on you. Emotions can hijack your mind and do their own thinking for you, they will think thoughts that promote more of the emotion.

Anxiety is making you think thoughts that will make you even more anxious. That’s why you focus on thinking what you might have done, it creates more anxiety.

The chemical imbalance, not remembering things, anxiety fueling itself, all of this makes drinking alcohol one of the dumbest things you can do to relax yourself.


Reference:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/27/hangxiety-why-alcohol-gives-you-a-hangover-and-anxiety;