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4 weeks ago · · 0 comments

Dealing with Anxiety In Motherhood

Dealing with Anxiety In Motherhood – How Well Do You Cope?

Dealing with Anxiety In MotherhoodAnxiety is common in motherhood

Being a mother and a therapist, I would have to say one of the most common emotions I observe in mothers is anxiety. Dealing with anxiety in motherhood is a very common struggle. Anxiety begins in pregnancy and often never leaves a mother, because with motherhood comes the worry, stress and concern for your child’s safety, wellbeing, security and happiness.

There are many stages of motherhood that lend themselves to anxiety. For instance, when a new baby arrives, you can begin to feel anxious about looking after this fragile new person who depends on you for survival. It is natural after birth to have anxieties, however, if these anxieties become debilitating, then there is a real risk to yourself, your child and your loved ones.

What is the difference between worry and anxiety?

General worry and stress disappear once you regain control and no longer feel fearful. A good example of this is feeling anxious the first time you have to present a speech at work, but after giving speeches several times, you now feel comfortable when asked to prepare a presentation. However, if this anxiety does not dissipate over time and you find yourself dealing with increasing anxiety, the anxiety then can become debilitating.

Beyond Blue defines anxiety as

… when these anxious feelings don’t go away – when they’re ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren’t easily controlled.

The key elements in anxiety are:

  • the inability to control the anxiety
  • their ongoing nature
  • occurring at any time

Dealing with Anxiety In MotherhoodAnxiety can occur at any time and for any particular reason. Anxiety is also often linked with depression and low self esteem. In motherhood anxiety can often become debilitating because mothers often try to cope with anxious feelings alone. New mothers also often report being embarrassed or ashamed to admit they are not coping. This can lead to further anxiety – trying to become the perfect mother.

Here are just some of the common issues mothers report feeling anxious about:

  • a child becoming sick
  • children doing well enough in school
  • financial stress
  • relationship pressures
  • whether children are eating the right foods
  • lack of time
  • being about to manage the daily to-do lists
  • having a messy home
  • ageing parents
  • buying a bigger home
  • being able to afford a good school
  • keeping children safe
  • cyber bullying
  • meeting external expectations
  • what others might think of them

and the list goes on and on….

So you can see, how easy it is for mothers to become anxious, particularly if you as a mother are prone to anxiety, or you have experienced anxiety in the past.

Developing effective coping strategies for dealing with anxiety in motherhood is imperative to your health and the health of your loved ones

dealing with anxiety in motherhoodYou may have gone through life finding ways to just cope with anxiety symptoms, such as a racing heart, sweaty palms and rapid breathing. There are ways to control these physical symptoms of anxiety. Many people seek medical help for anxiety in the form of anti-anxiety medication. Whilst medication has it’s place, it is important to understand that medication only masks the underlying issues causing anxiety. Taken over prolonged periods of time, these drugs can also result in difficulty when trying to come off the drug – the anxiety reappears. As with any drug, there are also side-effects that you need to seriously consider. If you are looking for a product to take to support your anxiety, try a herbal remedy. For instance, Herbario in Melbourne Australia has a variety of herbal elixirs to support many mental and health conditions – including anxiety reduction drops.

So what are better solutions for dealing with anxiety in motherhood?

Dealing with mental stress

Often anxiety develops out of a fear of getting into trouble, being disapproved of or not liked. In such cases, the key is to challenge the negative thoughts.

Ask yourself:

a) are my thoughts rationale (e.g. it’s natural to be nervous before presenting, but I can relax because I know my topic really well)

b) how would I cope if my fears became a reality? (e.g. If I get asked a ‘hairy’ question, I can deflect and say that I’ll get back to the person with the right information. Further, if I forget what I’m saying, I have my notes to refer to. If people in the audience are bored, I can walk closer to them to re-engage them, or choose that moment to start an exercise to get them more involved)

This type of anxiety is trying to prevent you from getting hurt so it has it’s purpose. It helps you to decide whether a behaviour is worth the risk. However, often this fear extends way beyond what is healthy. So you need to question it.

Dealing with physical stress

Dealing with Anxiety In MotherhoodWhen your body becomes anxious (often due to mental stress), your body reacts in a physical manner. It sends signals to the brain that it’s time to get out of this situation to protect yourself from harm. Your body begins to react in order to push you to do something. If you just try to push through the anxiety, you can often become more stressed the moment you notice these physical signs taking shape.

During bouts of short term stress, there are quick and easy things you can do to reduce these physical reactions, such as a increased heartrate, sweaty palms and shortness of breath. The key is to find the method that works quickest for you.

Try some of these methods to see how quickly you can reduce your physical signs of stress:

  • Take a moment to stop and breathe in and out slowly to reduce your heartrate
  • Engage in physical activity to shake out the stress
  • Close your eyes and visualise yourself performing or coping well with your stressful situation
  • Talk to the person who is causing you stress, to clear the air

Anxiety is a natural physical and mental reaction. So it’s important to not berate yourself for being stressed. Your aim is to allow your anxiety to be there as a sign to help you and then manage your emotions accordingly. Instead of getting stressed about feeling anxious, ask yourself why you are having this reaction and get to the bottom of it. Try not to mask your feelings and you will have a much happier, healthy and fulfilling life.

 

Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac

Author of Perfect Mums: How To Survive The Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood & Refresh Your Life: 30 Day Motivational Weightloss Program

2 years ago · · 0 comments

Stop Fear Holidng Your Back From Your Success

how to reduce fearFear can become the biggest evil on earth.

Yet how easily it is ingrained in our minds from a very early age.

From the moment of conception a mother begins to fear. She fears for the safety of her child. She fears she will not be a perfect mother, she fears her child may be hurt by others and so on… The energy of fear is being transferred to her child from this very early stage of life and continues to be ingrained in her child throughout life, in an effort to protect her child from harm. Yet, this very intention breads further fear in her child and often attracts the very negative fears that were her intention to be avoided through the constant reminder of how scary the world really is.

Whilst one can say that children need to be made aware of things and people that can hurt them, there are two ways to achieve the same outcome. The first is through fear and the second is through reasoning without fear. Our natural instinct as parents is to use fear. We assume if we scare our kids enough they won’t engage in dangerous behaviours such as running across the toad without looking, swallowing dangerous objects and falling over and hurting their bodies. However, the imbedding of such fears subsequently leads to an internal belief that the world is a scary and dangerous place (the news also enhances thus belief by showing a very skewed perspective of the world as though only horrible things are happening every day).

On the flip side, if you choose to use calm reasoning with your children to help them understand that there is a reward for safe behaviours rather than always a punishment for unsafe behaviours, they will learn to use reasoned judgement and to live their lives in a way that values the ‘self’. They will in turn not learn to fear any new experience and will also learn to not to fear things that appear to be different to them.

So many of life’s tragedy’s have been caused by fear of difference, yet at the core, we are all human beings. When we look at others we need to see the soul, not the exterior. This is where the true person lies.

If you are a parent, start to pay attention to how you may be installing fear in your child/ten. It is extremely easy to do, but it’s never too late to begin to adjust how you explain potentially dangerous behaviours.

Breeding fear can also lead to retaliation, as children start to think you must be exaggerating. They test the boundaries even more because these fearful behaviours are potentially naughty and would be so exciting to engage in and get away with. So, the intention to keep your child safe can end up causing the reverse to happen.

As an adult, also be mindful of the way you were taught to fear things in your environment, such as crossing roads, the boogie man, sun burn, falling down, getting on a plane, wearing a seat belt, talking in church, laughing in class etc… The explanations behind these things will dictate how much you fear your current life and how you allow fear to hold you back from enjoying and succeeding in every aspect of your life.

Yes, be safe and keep your kids safe but be careful in the manner used to explain the reasons behind engaging in safe behaviours.

If fear is holding you back in life or causing your pain contact Happy Life at http://www.helpformums.com/home/how-to-build-self-confidence-and-self-esteem-online-course/