Being pregnant is a great, but it doesn’t come without difficulties either. One of them is the elevated levels of anxiety that many moms to be experiencing. This is an especially common problem for women who are about to have their first child. A new baby changes the dynamic of a couple and is a big change for the lives of most people. Many pregnant women feel stressed out by the changes in their bodies and lifestyles. Another anxiety producer is the expectation of the child and all the responsibilities that come with that. Even though pharmaceutical companies produce a lot of anti-anxiety medications, they can be unsafe, especially for the fragile bodily balance of pregnant women. So, if you are feeling anxious, here are some natural methods to help alleviate the problem without filling your body with chemicals.
Reduce your responsibilities
Being pregnant in itself is a huge responsibility – your body is producing and caring for a new life that needs to be kept safe and healthy. The changes and pressure can take a toll on your physiological and psychological wellbeing. That is why keeping up with your old chores and tasks can make you feel anxious and overburdened. Try gradually reducing your responsibilities by half and substitute them with you-time. Do things you enjoy, like reading a book or taking walks in the park. Avoid sitting on the couch, watching TV all day – it will make you feel immobilized and the overload of information from the screen will overburden your brain, actually increasing anxiety levels.
Breathe and stretch
The mind and body are closely interconnected, so everything that you do physically effects your psychological wellbeing. Breathing exercises, as well as yoga, meditation and stretching have a calming effect on the brain and help you become more in touch with your own body, thoughts and emotions. This is especially helpful while pregnant, as the hormonal imbalance in your body might make you feel emotionally unstable. Breathing and stretching exercises also help prepare your body for the process of childbirth.
Exercise is always advised when trying to lift your spirits. It is a wonderful, all natural helper for several reasons. First and foremost, physical movement helps the body release more of the so-called happiness hormones – endorphins and dopamine. These are substances natural to your body, which help fight depression and anxiety. They also make you feel more energetic. Secondly, working out has a positive effect on your body and is therefore likely to improve your self-esteem, which is always a great weapon against anxiety. If you exercise outdoors, you get an added benefit – fresh air, as well as natural shapes, sounds and movements, soothe the brain. When pregnant, you might not be able to work out in the same way as before. It is important to be cautious of your delicate state and apply moderation. Don’t bring your body to exhaustion – that can be dangerous for both you and your baby. Instead, do some light exercise and check for a good workout routine with your doctor.
Talking is one of the best ways to relieve pressure and alleviate anxiety. Being pregnant has probably brought a myriad of questions to your mind and they might be causing you anxiety. Bottling up your feelings and going through it all alone can be harmful for your psyche and the stress is likely to harm the fetus. Opening up to people, talking about your concerns and emotions, is one of the most effective ways to alleviate anxiety. You could join a support group, talk to friends, family or a therapist. Whatever you decide to do, it is important to remember that even if your companions cannot give you any adequate advice, sharing and feeling supported is enough to relieve anxiety.
Forget about “What if”
As a new mom, it is completely natural to worry and overwhelm yourself with heaps of questions. Many pregnant women are worried that they won’t be good enough mothers, that they don’t know how to raise a child properly, that their child might have a health problem and all kinds of other concerns beginning with “What if”. This thought pattern is very easy to fall into, but it is extremely unproductive and can only cause anxiety, which is harmful for both you and the child. You need to remind yourself of your strengths and make sure you are doing the best you can to stay healthy – that is the only way to take care of your unborn child at the moment. Whenever you feel a “What if” coming on, count to 50 and then occupy yourself with something.
Anxiety during pregnancy is quite common, though it should not be ignored. High levels of stress can lead to depression and turn this happy event in your life into a nightmare. Moreover, you need to remember that your emotional state is affecting your baby.
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