Expert advice from The Womb (World of My Baby)
A lot of my work with women revolves around the powerless, and sometimes overwhelming experience of feeling anxious. My clients worry about making mistakes, they worry about being good moms, good employees, they worry about their health, they worry about missing out — they worry.
Women often feel robbed of the ability to enjoy the moment, despite a deep longing to feel joy.
There is a difference between worry and anxiety, and we can move back and forth between them. I want to tell you that you deserve to feel happy. You deserve to feel good enough. You deserve to be free of the debilitating anxiety that comes from constant second guessing, and self-criticism. Your children and family deserve to have a mother who doesn’t carry the world on her shoulders. You are so worthy, my loves…. so worthy.
How is worry and anxiety affecting your life?
What would your family notice if tomorrow morning, your worry brain took a rest. What would be different?
I help clients find their personal anxiety antidote. I don’t suggest that you just try some generic relaxation or meditation or even just “think positively”. There is a reason that anxiety is there. Anxiety happens when something inside of us is asking for attention. Something inside is asking to be heard, seen and addressed. Sometimes we think we know what it is, so we solve the first thing that comes to mind, but we still feel anxious. I call this the anxiety treadmill! How the heck do you get off without making yourself crazy?
I want to tell you my approach to anxiety. I treat it as a super power. We use this obsessive focus and intense drive to create good feelings! Did you know that NASA often prefers to hire anxious people? They are great people, with lots of focus-power. But imagine if they could never turn off that ability? What a terribly stressful existence.
Finding your antidote….
Just for now, try not to “get rid of” the thoughts and feelings. Let’s set out the welcome mat, offer it a cup of tea and an open space. Let’s explore, “What is needed here?”
Is there something in your life that you just can’t seem to let go of, even though you have tried? Something that your partner or family think you “make a big deal of”? A situation that you can’t seem to find clarity about, but it’s robbing you of joy in the moment?
Ask yourself a few questions to help identify your antidote:
- Looking for exceptions to the problem. Getting away from all or nothing thinking: When is the “problem” less bad? What are you doing at these times and who are you with? What are you giving or receiving during these times that seems to help? How might this help you with your current situation?
- Seeking help: Who can help you with this problem? What has stopped you from reaching out? How easy would it be to reach out?
- Identifying your harmful self-talk: What belief about yourself is fueling your worry about this situation? What is it that you are telling yourself about you as a person, that you are having this challenge? Is this absolutely true? What’s more true about you?
- Giving yourself credit: Even if this situation isn’t perfect, and you are learning, what do you appreciate about how you are handling this? List at least 3, and for extra points ask your partner or friend what they see you doing well.
- Surrendering control: Are you trying to make the situation perfect? Trying to meet a standard that seems impossible (even if it is your ideal)? If so, acceptance might be your antidote. Ask yourself, what’s good about this situation? How might I see it 10 years from now?
Written by Nelia DeAmaral, RP, CLD, HBsc, YNC, Registered Psychotherapist and Coach at The Womb, owned and operated by Mompreneur Elite members Lorri Fleming and Angie Stenback.
THE WORLD OF MY BABY™ (The WOMB) grew out of the dreams of Birth and Postnatal Doulas, Lorri Fleming and Angie Stenback. Today, THE WOMB provides families with support, health and education from conscious creating, informed pregnancy, mindful birth and parenting in a non-judgmental, welcoming environment through self awareness, support, education and an integrated health care team. It is a center of excellence; a place where expert practitioners of health and research provide families with the best care possible and individuals come to receive tenderness, education and love. The WOMB serves families from as far as New York State and Michigan, Woodstock, Kitchener/Waterloo, Guelph, Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Mississauga, Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, Halton & Peel Regions.
A version of this article was previously published on www.thewomb.ca
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