For a new study, researchers looked at how anxiety levels in men and women were affected by having six alcoholic drinks over two hours while socializing with friends, both in the moment and the morning after. They found anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with a hangover, a combo experts call hangxiety, especially in introverts.
Anxiety is a common side effect of hangovers even in people who aren’t shy, explains George Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved in the study.
Physiologically, alcohol dampens activity in the amygdala, a brain region that generates fear and anxiety, he says. Then, when the alcohol wears off, there’s a rebound effect in which anxiety returns with full force. If you’re an introvert, you’ll typically feel even more day-after anxiety than your extrovert friends do because your amygdala is more active.
If you experience hangxiety, the only way to completely avoid it is by not drinking at all. To keep it in check the morning after you go out, listen to yoga music, focus on your posture, and try this hand massage.
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