BRITS are taking full advantage of the long Bank Holiday weekend, in aid of the Queen’s Jubilee.

But many will be reminded of that “dread” feeling the morning after a night of partying.

Hangxiety – the overwhelming feeling of anxiety during a hangover – plagues drinkers.

It leaves them worrying what they said or did, how they embarassed themselves or if their friends suddenly hate them.

Dr Sally Adams, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology Addiction and Mental Health Group, University of Bath, previously told The Sun: “People can experience that anxiety as regret and shame about what happened.

"Panic or wondering what they said or did. It can be general, increasing anxiety about other things unrelated to drinking.”

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Hangxiety is triggered by the change in chemicals in the brain that comes with drinking alcohol.

When we sip on our favourite cocktail, wine or beer, it changes the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain.

These brain chemicals are normally distinctly balanced so we can make decisions clearly, focus and emotionally process things.

Drinking alcohol throws this off – levels of Gaba, which help us feel more relaxed, increases, while glutamate, which controls fear and emotions, decreases. 

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Dr Adams said: “The brain is desperate to try and correct that, by giving us lower Gaba and increased glutamate.

“Instead of going back to normal the next day at the level before we started drinking, our brain starts overcompensating.

“This is why we have feelings of anxiety and stress."

How to avoid hangxiety

  1. Practise mindfulness

Dr Adams recommended practising mindfulness – an act of recognising your emotions or thoughts and trying to move on from them.

Instead of dwelling on those nasty negative thoughts, accept them and try and carry on with your day knowing they will pass.

Dr Adams said: “We don't panic when we have positive emotions, we wouldn’t ring our friends and tell them we are excited.

“But we do get panicked about feeling low mood or depression. But really, it's just another emotion we experience as humans. 

“The idea of mindfulness is not to make it more than it is, and to realise it can't hurt you and you’ll move on – but that’s easier said than done.”

2. Drink slower 

There’s one clear way to avoid hangxiety, and that’s to drink less alcohol.

Clinical psychologist Dr Desreen Dudley told HelloGiggles: "Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can place anyone at risk of experiencing unpleasant physical and emotional hangover symptoms, including anxiety.”

You may find that monitoring your drinks may leave you with less of “the fear” the next day purely as a result of retaining more memories of the evening.

Dr Dudley also recommends drinking more slowly and avoiding drinking on an empty stomach to lessen alcohol's effects on the body and mind.

3. Don’t mix your drinks

Top psychologist and behavioural expert Jo Hemmings says to avoid mixing your drinks to avoid worsening the effects of a hangover.

She previously told The Sun: “Cocktails, shots, beer and wine is a recipe for particularly bad hangxiety. 

“The different alcohols have different by-products which act with each other to produce more toxins — those that make us feel bad.”

She added: “Adding more tonic or soda keeps you more hydrated.

"Studies have found beginning the night dehydrated affects your levels of concentration and can bring on feelings of depression — all contributors to hangxiety. 

“Diet mixers help too as the sugar in fizzy drinks can contribute to low blood glucose the following day.”

4. Stop scrolling

Scrolling through endless pages of social media can make you feel rubbish even on a normal day.

Jo said: “Seeing those ‘perfect’ Insta snaps of your friends looking happy and healthy on a day out can make us feel even lower and more wretched, because it’s so far from our current state.

“Comparing yourselves to others helps nobody. While Twitter can get us feeling angry and confrontational just by reading it.”

5. Get outside

The idea of getting up and outside may be too much to bear on a hangover when you want to curl up under the duvet. 

But we all know it – going for a walk and getting some fresh air does wonders.

Jo said: “To avoid over-thinking what you said or did the night before, the best advice is to get up, eat to level out your blood-sugar levels, then go for a walk in the fresh air to get the blood pumping and give you fresh perspective. 

“Lying in bed mulling over the night is only going to make cortisol levels increase and heighten your worries.”

6. Avoid foods that worsen symptoms

A fry-up is mandatory for some when they are hungover.

However, due to fatty meats being harder to digest and salty, they can make you feel more sluggish and dehydrated.

Sian Baker recommended foods that give you "the best chance to recover" – and move on from those anxious thoughts.

Sian, a registered nutritional therapist at health and wellness testing company Check My Body Health, told The Sun: "Bananas contain good amounts of potassium, so will help to bring up your levels after a heavy night of drinking.

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 "Magnesium-rich foods such as spinach will help to replenish your magnesium levels.

"Spinach also has anti-inflammatory properties, so makes a good basis for a meal to help you get over your hangover – try adding it to a morning smoothie, as part of a lighter breakfast, or even a salad for lunch."

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