How To Reset Your Day If You Wake Up Stressed

As we emerge from the grogginess of sleep, the brain fog begins to lift and we find ourselves faced with the stressors of the day. Whether you're running late, can't find your car keys, or you've just spilled your fresh cup of coffee, we could all use a reset button on occasion to get our day back on track. But what about the kind of morning time stress that hits us before we've barely had a chance to open our eyes?

Cortisol, the hormone that facilitates our body's stress response, doesn't only get released in the face of fear. Research published in Progress in Neurobiology in 2021 revealed that the body's cortisol awakening response (CAR) can become triggered first thing in the morning in anticipation of stress to come. In this effort to prepare the body for the day ahead, cortisol levels spike within the first 30-45 minutes after we wake up. In some cases, this can give us a healthy jump start to the day. For those predisposed to stress and anxiety, the added cortisol release can worsen symptoms, reports mindbodygreen.

If you find you're inundated with stress first thing in the morning, here's a quick tip that may help your mind and body recalibrate.

Try drinking a glass of salt water when you wake up

According to mindbodygreen, drinking a small amount of salt water in the morning can help mitigate stress by reducing cortisol levels. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that sodium intake hindered the release of stress hormones in mice when placed in anxiety-provoking situations. Not only that, but these mice also displayed lower blood pressure rates in the face of stress than control mice, as well as heightened levels of oxytocin, a stress-fighting hormone.

But not just any salt will do. Professional biohacker Dave Asprey tells mindbodygreen that you'll want to choose a high-quality salt that's rich in minerals to add to your morning glass of water. "When you wake up in the morning, take a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, put it in water, and drink it," Asprey told mindbodygreen. Redmond salt or sea salt are also healthy alternatives.

Not only may you find your mornings to be a little less overwhelming, but the stress reduction benefits of salt water have the potential to extend throughout the day.