No (mental) hangover for a while

It is difficult that after an evening of slumbering it is not easy to ignore your throbbing headache in the morning, to finish your breakfast or to get up at all. Even more annoying is that you can sometimes be quite gloomy the next day. Were you full of energy yesterday, funny and on top of the worldToday you anxiously check if you said something stupid and feel guilty for not being able to control yourself. Did you know that this mental hangover is partly due to a chemical deficiency in your brain?

Every sip of alcohol you drink has an effect on the reward system in your brain. That's how it works: alcohol stimulates the release of dopamine, the chemical in your brain that is responsible for the pleasant, euphoric 'rewarding' feeling you get when you drink alcohol (or eat something really tasty, for example, or have sex). In addition to the effect on dopamine release, alcohol also stimulates the production of the chemical serotonin. This substance influences your mood, sleep and memory and provides that typical feeling of connection that you can have with others while intoxicated (like suddenly becoming best friends with total strangers in a bar). Source:

During an evening slump, your brain uses much more dopamine and serotonin than usual. The result is that your body has to replenish these substances the next day(s) until they are back to the old level. In addition to this "imbalance," your body struggles to get rid of the amounts of alcohol you've consumed. Add to that the fact that you sleep less well with alcohol and you understand that you are not completely yourself.

How do you recognize an emotional hangover?

You have an emotional hangover when the following day(s) you suffer from: gloomy thoughts, fear, restlessness, irritability, aggression, confusion, concentration problems, sleep disorders, lethargy or fatigue. Source:

So your mental dip after drinking a lot of alcohol is partly due to a purely physical reaction. Not knowing what you have said or done, of course, does not help. Precisely because you are a bit more wobbly mentally, you can the day after lose quite a lot in worrying and feelings of guilt, fear or gloom. The ability to put things into perspective is just as hard to find, just now that you can use an extra portion of this.

Did you know…

Also a mental hangover hangxiety is called? hangxiety is a contraction of hangover, the English word for hangover, and anxiety, an umbrella term for restlessness, tenseness, excessive worrying, anxiety and panic attacks. A mental hangover, so to speak. Also called anxiety hangover. Source: good

First aid for a mental hangover

Although you don't have to worry about a mental hangover in the middle of your alcohol break, here are some tips if it ever happens to you; †

  • Relax! Be aware of the time your body needs to recover mentally up and running to be. Do you notice that you quickly become overstimulated, are you worrying or do you just not get rid of that anxious feeling? Relax, take a bath, watch a light-hearted movie or do something else that relaxes you.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. Realize that not remembering exactly what you've done may just make things worse in your head than they are. Let your feelings sink in and see if you feel better after two days.
  • Get some fresh air. Nothing helps against worrying like a walk in the open air. Take a breather and clear your head.
  • Eat and drink healthy. Help the recovery process in your body by eating and drinking healthy. So no greasy bite the next day, but lots of vegetables and fruit. And water. A lot of water.

Do you continue to suffer from feelings of fear, shame or guilt? Then talk to someone about it. What a relief. This way you will eventually feel a lot lighter. Moreover, everyone does something that they are not proud of afterwards. That's very human. See it above all as a learning moment: next time don't let it get that far.

Have you ever suffered from a mental hangover in the past? Talk about it on the IkPas forum.

This article was inspired by an article we read on






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