Is Anxiety Stripping Your Joy of Parenting?
Parenting at the best of times can be simultaneously joyful and challenging. When a trauma involving a child occurs it can become overwhelmingly challenging. How does this happen especially when a parent knows they love their child and wants only the best for them and is doing all they know how to make them healthy and happy?
Firstly: Whenever something involving our child happens we feel guilty about them suffering even in the smallest way….not a good enough parent!...why could I not stop this from happening?...why can’t I do something to help? So many questions go through our minds no matter what happened or how we re-acted or didn’t re-act. All we want to do is take the pain away for them and make sure it never happens again.
Secondly: When the traumatic event happens that has involved the child, the parent reacts, understandably, in an anxious and worried way. The unconscious mind then takes that reaction to be the way it is to react in the same or similar situation next time.
Thirdly: The child or person now becomes a trigger or anchor for that reaction.
So the parent is now caught in a vicious cycle from which they feel there is no escape. Because the child/person is with the parent either frequently or periodically, there is no difference, the anchor (the child) is being triggered within the parent unconsciously without stop causing anxiety to build end on end. They are now worried and anxious about the child’s welfare and safety constantly and it gets to the point where it strips any joy associated with the parenting the child, away. Similarly this can happen to a place and a thing also. Every time you see the child, place or thing your unconscious mind triggers the learnt response from the original trauma.
Is there a way to stop this from happening and bring the joy back into your life and parenting? Absolutely! An emotion such as anxiety is a state of being and states can be changed. Worry, anxiety, depression are all emotions that have been learnt as a response to a trigger that brought about fear or a fearful reaction and as such can be unlearnt.
Basically speaking depression is an emotion from the past and anxiety is an emotion connected to the future. It is always a good thing to remember that all time exists right now. There is only ever this moment. I ask my client…”How are you right now?” And if they say fine, I then wait a few moments and ask again…”How are you right now?” Again the same response. When I ask a third time, many get where I am coming from. The only time you focus on is NOW. The past is gone, the future never gets here. The only time is NOW. Yes I did repeat myself only in the hope that you really get what I am saying. Focussing on the NOW will help to ease any focus on the past and the future and begin to retrain your unconscious mind, which only wants to help you, to find a more positive way of reacting.
Another great tool is to find a good hypnotherapist. Both my husband Paul and I are trained hypnotherapists and NLP practitioners and understand only too well the powerful tool that it is. In no way is it a lazy way of helping yourself to recover from a trauma or to create a more positive experience of life for yourself. If you were drowning and someone came by in a lifeboat, would you send them away? What hypnotherapy can do for you is help you to find that anchor deep within your unconscious mind and unhook it so that you no longer react to the trigger (the child/person/place/thing) in the same way anymore. What they can also do is replace it with a more positive response and reaction, then when the trigger is now in your presence there is only joy and positivity. And if a similar situation does occur again your response will be one of positive action rather than negative inaction.
Lastly, surround yourself with people who will only be positive in their response to your situation. Remember worry, anxiety, fear etc only attracts the same thing in others. There for me, is the best reason ever to be happy in the moment.
So be courageous, stand in your power and seek help and the joy that parenting could be, will be.