A recurring, terrifying thought I had when I suffered from postnatal anxiety was “Will I feel this way forever?”
I was so troubled by this question and the inability to answer it.
And no one else could answer it either.
I didn’t discuss in detail how I was feeling at the time but in hindsight, I wish I had connected with other anxious mums, purely from the point of view of being listened to and understood.
So I’m writing this post today from my perspective... as a mum who’s suffered, but come through it and now wants to offer my reassurance.
I want to promise to you... No, it won’t be like this forever.
I'm living proof of that.
I no longer have constant fears, doubts, bodily sensations.
I no longer constantly think about something bad happening.
Instead, I'm truly blessed to see motherhood as THE most magical period of my life.
I want to reassure all anxious mums that it won’t be like this forever.
Anxiety can be healed, naturally.
Anxiety is something which we do have control over within our bodies.
But here's the crux of the matter.
We have to commit to doing the work on ourselves to overcome anxiety.
This is perhaps the biggest point to get our heads around.
We live in a world where fast results, instant gratification and answers galore are at our fingertips.
The access we have to information is overwhelming.
Many of us believe that the answers lie outside ourselves which in respect to the medical profession I see happening frequently.
I see hundreds of patients a week and there's a commonality between some people (certainly not all) which is that the “help they need is in the hands of the professionals, so I need not do the work on myself.”
This approach doesn’t work for anxiety.
Medications are available as we know but how well they work varies, and what happens when we stop taking them?
This is why it’s crucial to do the work on ourselves.
Commit to helping ourselves overcome anxiety.
Fill the house with affirmations and positive statements.
Begin a journal practise.
Learn how to become the observer to our thoughts and sensations rather than the reactor.
These are just several of the many techniques which are natural ways to overcome anxiety
BUT only if we commit to making it a regular daily practise.
And another thing to add. We have to stop adding to our anxiety.
If you’re anything like me, your hand instantly reaches for your phone and to google. Google, google google.
As part of my anxiety recovery, I set a firm ban on googling.
It was bloody hard, but I managed it. And on social media too.
It got to the stage where I was staring like a zombie constantly at my phone, only putting it down intermittently to bite my fingernails… and I had to do it for my sanity.
I initially took a whole weekend off. And then extended to large portions of every day, until I’d figured out that I was able to stop myself becoming more anxious by not reaching for my phone and asking every question under the sun.
We also have to open up more about how we’re feeling without telling ourselves we’re being a nuisance.
We all have that negative inner voice, the one who tells us we’re not good enough, not worthy enough, don’t deserve what we want etc.
When it comes to talking about our anxiety we have to tell ourselves that we’re not being a pain in the a**. Because we’re not!
Aside from family and friends, there's also many online services & helplines if we’re not comfortable talking to those close to us.
Lastly, we have to accept that motherhood is a natural time to feel heightened levels of anxiety, yet learn ways to control it when it does creep in.
The natural ways to heal from anxiety are in my opinion the best because they serve as long term relief rather than a temporary fix.
When you learn some of the mind-body techniques to overcome anxiety and then repeat them regularly, you start changing how your brain automatically responds to anxious thoughts, emotions and sensations.
It’s one of my favourite topics called neuroplasticity, and I go into it in detail in my Busting Anxiety In Motherhood programme.
A question to ask ourselves is “do I believe I can heal from anxiety?”
This will highlight any hidden self-sabotaging that may be preventing you from healing today.
Do let me know if you’ve found this post helpful by commenting below? I always love to hear from you.
Photo by Jenna Norman