Dehydration Can Lead to Irritability and Anxiety

Scott Ninneman @ Speaking Bipolar

How to stay hydrated for optimal mental health.

You’re sitting at your desk, trying to focus on the task at hand. But you can’t seem to concentrate. Your head hurts and your mouth is dry. You might think you need more coffee, but what you really need is water.

Dehydration can take a toll on your mental health, making it difficult to concentrate, remember things, and stay calm and collected. Here’s a look at how dehydration can impact mental health and what you can do to make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

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Glass of water on a winter evening.Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay

Dehydration Can Cause Brain Fog

One of the first things you might notice when you’re dehydrated is that it’s harder to think clearly. That’s because dehydration can cause brain fog, making it difficult to concentrate and remember things.

When you’re dehydrated, your brain doesn’t have enough water to function properly. As a result, you might feel tired, dizzy, and confused. If you’re struggling to think clearly, drink a glass of water and see if that helps.

Dehydration Can Affect Your Mood

When you’re dehydrated, you might also notice that you’re feeling more anxious and irritable than usual. That’s because dehydration can cause an imbalance in electrolytes, which can lead to symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, and headaches. If you’re feeling anxious or irritable, try drinking some water and things may improve.

Dehydration Can Cause Fatigue

If you’re feeling tired all the time, dehydration could be to blame. When you’re dehydrated, your body stops functioning properly. As a result, you might feel weak and fatigued. If you’re struggling with fatigue, drink a glass of water and see if that helps improve your energy levels.

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Reminder sticky with smiley face magnet.Dmitriy/Pixabay

Ways to Drink More Water

When you understand how dehydration can affect your mental health, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking all the water you need. How can add more water to your day? Here are a few suggestions.

Carry a Water Bottle With You

One of the best ways to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. That way, you can take a sip whenever you’re feeling thirsty. If you don’t like plain water, try adding some lemon or lime slices to give it flavor.

Drink Water With Every Meal

Another good way to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to drink a glass of water with every meal. Not only will this help you stay hydrated, but it can also help you feel fuller and eat less.

Set Reminders

If you find it difficult to remember to drink water throughout the day, set reminders on your phone or on your calendar. That way, you can make sure you’re getting enough water every day.

Set Time-Block Goals

When your day gets busy, you’re more likely to forget drinking water. Many try to catch up before going to bed, but this method can disrupt sleep and lead to multiple trips to the bathroom during the night. Instead, set water goals for each section of your day. Break your day down to 3-5 hour blocks, and set a hydration goal for each time period.

Dehydration can take a toll on your mental health, making it difficult to concentrate, remember things, and stay calm and collected. Drinking plenty of water is important for maintaining good physical and mental health. If you’re feeling tired, anxious, or irritable, dehydration could be to blame. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day so that you can stay focused, calm, and collected.

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Scott is a passionate advocate for mental health. He shares his own struggles of fighting bipolar disorder on his Speaking Bipolar blog while promoting positivity and understanding. Scott also publishes on Medium and Vocal.

Dunlap, TN
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