Six Steps to Stop Mom Anxiety
Do you wake up in a panic worrying? Does your heart start racing and your stomach turn? Often times when this feeling arises, it is difficult to just “turn it off” and go back to sleep.
Or during the daytime, do you have a constant knot in your stomach? It can come and go, but at times it is almost unbearable. And perhaps these feelings are worse since becoming a mom.
If you answered yes to either of the above questions you may have some mild anxiety.
According to healthline.com people with general anxiety disorder worry uncontrollably about everyday occurrences and common situations. That sense of worry often increases after having kids. Let’s face it, you have more to worry about. Whatever your case may be, it is best to find tips and tools to help you deal with anxiety.
I, for one, have been dealing with anxiety my entire life. In fact, I never realized I truly had anxiety until I was in my thirties and I started reading self-help books.
Since realizing why I have often felt this way and can label my feelings as anxiety, I have set myself up on a path to find tips to help combat my anxiety. Since realizing you have a problem is a key to finding help, I have now surrounded myself with personal development books and tips and tricks that have truly been life-changing.
Although I am not a doctor and if you are having debility anxiety you should see a doctor, I have a degree in emotional impairment (used to be a special education teacher) and took many psychology classes on my path to teaching children with emotional concerns. I have learned helping others with their emotions has also helped me take care of myself and become a better mother.
Do I still have anxiety? Yes, but I am now better equipped to deal with it and it doesn’t affect me as much. So what did I do to stop anxiety? This post will offer six tips to help with anxiety as a mom.
Five Second Rule to help curb mom anxiety
The human brain is wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Yet, when anxiety creeps in we have a feedback loop that makes it difficult to just “shut it off” and stop worrying at any given time. So how do we solve this? We interrupt the pattern. And you can do this by using the five-second rule.
Have you heard of Mel Robins? An acclaimed author of the popular book “The Five-Second Rule” she also has her own self-help television show. Nonetheless, she became famous for her books and her Ted Talks.
She introduced people to the five-second rule which is essentially counting backward from five to one when you are having anxiety about doing something. The countdown helps override the fear in your brain and helps you to stop worrying about a given situation.
Not only can the five-second rule help with anxiety, but it can also help you be more productive and form better habits. It sounds so simple, but you are essentially rewiring your brain to over-ride the fear component and focus on what you need to do.
You can learn more about this rule and see some positive results with real people in her book. This trick can also help with productivity and personal development.
Related Personal Development Post for Moms
Ask “what is the worst that can happen?”
If you have anxiety, you know how crippling it can be. Instead of enjoying your life, you are riddled with fear. Instead of getting a good night’s sleep, your mind is constantly racing.
However, learning to ask yourself the question, “What is the worst that can happen?” will help. If you can ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” and be okay with the outcome, you can set your mind at ease.
So you have a major meeting with your boss tomorrow and you have to explain how you are going to bring up your sales. You can’t sleep because you are worried about it. Think to yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” Will I get fired? Can I get a new job? Could the new job be better for me? After reasoning this with yourself, go on to the next step: Acceptance.
Accept the worse possible situation. Once you have accepted this, you can be okay with your decision and calm your mind.
Acceptance to stop mom anxiety
Once you have accepted the worst possible scenario, accept that this could be your fate and move on. Acceptance of the consequences of any situation in the worst possible scenario will help you move on and learn to conquer anxiety. If you have accepted that this can be your fate and there is nothing you can do about it, then remember it is what it is. You can now move on and if that worst case happens, you will still be okay. There are other things you can do with your life.
Deep breathing to help stop mom anxiety
Take a deep breath and count to ten and with this, I like to say, “This too shall pass.” In fact, that is one of my favorite mantras when I am feeling high anxiety. Breathe in and focus on your breathing. Breath out and pretend you are releasing all negativity in your body. Do this ten times and I bet you will feel amazing!
If there is one thing we CAN actually control in life, it is our breathing. And there are different breathing strategies that will help calm our system. Try breathing in through your nose for seven seconds, holding the breath for four seconds, and releasing the breath by blowing out your mouth for eight seconds. This focus on breathing and counting will have a soothing effect.
Prayer/Meditation to help curb mom anxiety
Some like to meditate and some like to pray. I like to do both. I am Christian and I believe in the power of prayer. Yet, I like to train my mind to be at peace and meditate. I think of mountains, water, waves, or clouds. I hum. And I also think of nature and the beauty and remember I am part of it all.
If you are religious like me, offer up your worries to God and pray your worries will lessen. Remember my favorite prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
To change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
I have a candle with this prayer on it to remind me when I am worried. If I can change something that is bothering me, then I should take action. If I cannot change it then whatever will be will be. There is no sense wasting the time I have worrying.
Remember to live in the present because the past is the past and it cannot be changed. The future has not happened yet and all we have is now. Live and breathe in the present moment.
If you are able to set aside time each day for meditation, you can begin to train your brain to stop the worry. If you can practice just one minute of complete calm for a week and then increase your meditation time to two minutes and so on, you will begin to form new pathways in your brain and eventually decrease your worry overall.
Six Steps to Stop Mom Anxiety Final Thoughts
If you have anxiety it can affect how you deal with everyday life. Don’t let your fear take over. Unless you find ways to cope, you will always have that underlying fear. This can lead to other issues such as lack of sleep, irritability/moodiness, and depression. Yet, the brain is a wonderful organ and can change old patterns of thinking. Start using the methods above to be less anxious and start living fully!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and as a general rule you should follow the advice of your doctor. These are tips that have personally helped me and may not be the best course of action for you. Please consult a medical professional if you are having an uncontrollable anxiety disorder.