Trigger warning: if you are expecting please be mindful of your well-being the content that I will be sharing discusses sensitive issues of intrusive thoughts and pregnancies.
When I was pregnant with my third child, I dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression. It was so severe that I had very negative thoughts. Sometimes I have thought of hitting myself in the belly, other times I would have thought of harming my other two children because I was angry. Angry at what??? I didn't know at that time. I was also triggered by racial issues that happen in Our country. I would think that Someone takes my son away or shoot my husband down because of the color of his skin. Then there were times I would have disturbing thoughts.
But I'm here to testify that I have been delivered and set free from these negative thoughts.I will share what I did to overcome it. I came to a point where I had enough of being tormented by my own mind. So I decided to really read more about the mind.
The mind is very powerful. Studies show that we have over 6,000 thoughts a day, good, bad and ugly. What we think can cause physical and traumatic pain. I am a graduate student in a Dance/ Movement Therapy program. We study how the body and mind are interconnected and What is shown in the body, might not always display in the mind.
Most of the time we allow our minds and emotions to control us then we control it.
What you think, will come to pass. If you think negative thoughts you start to become negative. Sometimes there is a chemical imbalance that we don't know what we are doing or saying. Especially if you are pregnant.
In my opinion, the things we think about come from external factors, circumstances, trials, tribulations., trauma, childhood experiences that might be a result of the reasoning. ( If you have a severe mental illness please seek professional help I will provide resources down below)
What are intrusive thoughts? Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts that can pop into our heads without warning, at any time. They're often repetitive – with the same kind of thought cropping up again and again – and they can be disturbing or even distressing.
These thoughts, however, are just thoughts. They seemingly appear out of nowhere and cause anxiety, but they have no meaning in your life. Thoughts can be activated only if you allow them to happen.
Tips on overcoming intrusive thoughts. Here is what I have learned.
I had to become aware. The only way to overcome bad and toxic thoughts is to recognize that you have them. In my opinion, I don't agree with accepting intrusive thoughts but I do agree with being aware. For example, saying something like this I have intrusive thoughts. I acknowledge that I have intrusive thoughts. This is allowing you to be more aware and mindful of what is happening in your mind.
The second thing I learned is that I am human. We are human. We have free will, and we make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with us, there is nothing wrong with having these thoughts, many moms go through the same feelings and the same thoughts. I think it's important to be vulnerable or transparent about it. Sometimes it is not easy to be vulnerable because of our past experiences. Some people view vulnerability as a weakness. I ask you this question: is there anything wrong with being weak?
We are not always strong, but when we sit in spaces of vulnerability and acknowledge that we are just imperfect humans, that feel weak and make mistakes that is our strength.
The bible says in our weakness He is His our strength 2 Corinthians 12: 10 when you allow yourself to just be, be in that space of weakness - this allows our Heavenly father to come in and do His works, we lean on His strength. Then we start to feel confident, secure, safe and, set free. This doesn't come naturally and this is not easy, however, I encourage you to be vulnerable for your Heavenly Father.
The third thing I learn is to have a strong prayer life. Prayer is powerful, something I do every day. It is actually part of my self-care. For me, I take care of myself by talking to God about everything. God wants to hear from you. God doesn't care about how it comes out as long as it comes from a humble heart. Just talk to God. As you talk with God you will start building relationships and start learning the skills of prayer. Don't compare yourself to others' prayer life. You are as much as important as that person that has the gift of being a prayer warrior.
The fourth thing I learned is Meditations: meditating on the Word of God daily. The Bible brings up meditation a lot. How incorporating the breath of God and using scripture to guard our hearts and minds when we have these thoughts. Be diligent and spend 5-10 minutes Meditating.
Reading the Word of God
The fifth thing I learned was Reading the Word of God I use this bible acronym called SO.A.P. SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, application, and prayer. I would pick a verse in the Bible that touches on renewing the mind. Then spend time on what I noticed from the scripture and write it now, next I would use what I learn from the scripture to apply it to my life. Lastly, I would pray over what I learn in the scripture.
Daily Intention or affirmation:
The sixth thing I learned was to set daily Intention or affirmation: When the thought happens I would pause, take a couple of breaths and refocus my mind on positive thoughts. Any time the thought would happen I would affirm myself to change what I was thinking.
The last thing I learned was setting actions, steps, or daily goals. One of my goals was to write down whatever I was thinking. When I gave myself actions and made the conscious decision to really overcome intrusive thoughts they eventually started to feel better. I even spent the time speaking to a counselor or therapist to help when the thoughts happen. Setting actions, steps allows you to set healthy boundaries and build your confidence to overcome the thoughts that you have.
These seven things help me and I pray that they will help you. I encourage you to never give up. Honestly, it's a long process and takes a lot of work. Still, God will not leave you or forsake you.
“In the past, you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. Light brings every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. Try to learn what pleases the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:8-10 NCV
Here are some Maternal Mental Health Resources:
Pregnancy & Postpartum Resource Center (Coalition)https://pprc.support/
Artisitc Chrisitan Coach
Need some support contact me