Dear Parent, do you worry about your child?
I expect you are thinking, “Of course I do, it comes with the job!”
I do understand. The world suddenly seems a much scarier place once you have brought a child into it. With the intensity of love that you feel when your child is born also comes an intensity of worry. How can you keep them safe? Are you doing a good enough job for them? Are they developing properly? Once you have children suddenly your head is full of questions, some of which you can answer, but many of which just sit in your head and nag at you daily.
The problem with worrying so much is that your worries create high feelings of anxiety which can cause physical, mental and emotional problems. I remember talking to a man many years ago who was in the armed forces. We were talking about working in dangerous places. He said he was trained to live at a high level of alertness but you could only live like that for short periods of time because your body cannot cope with that state of fight or flight for too long and he was right.
The truth is anxiety is a normal reaction to stress but we are not designed to be in that state of high alert for long periods of time. In fact anxiety causes an in-balance in our bodies. It prepares our bodies for a physical response but when our anxiety comes from worry it rarely concludes with a physical action.
So in the short term you may feel:-
- your heart racing as your nervousness rises,
- you may get headaches or aching muscles,
- you may be conscious of a shortness of breath
- and a rise in your body temperature to name but a few symptoms.
If your anxiety continues you may :-
- have Mood Swings
- feel Overwhelmed
- become Depressed
- get Panic Attacks
- feel Lonely and Isolated
- have Digestive Problems
- suffer Muscle Tension
- Memory Loss
- or constantly suffer from cold virus’s because you Immune System is suppressed
All in all, living in a constant state of anxiety is not good physically and it makes every day difficult. Being a Parent is a 24/7, 365 day a year job. You cannot stop or have a day off, it’s challenging enough without having to do it while you are suffering with anxiety.
So where do you start?
Well there will always be instances that come up where you feel anxious. Your child’s first day at school, waiting for a test result, starting a new job. Please remember your body can handle these situations. What it struggles to handle is your constant worrying and, contrary to popular belief ,this is something you have control over. The statement ” I can’t help worrying” is simply not true. The truth here is that you have a choice.
There are tools and techniques that can help you to start worrying less which will reduce your stress levels. Not only is this beneficial to you, it benefits your children as well. The sad thing about anxiety is that no matter how hard you try to hide it from your children they will feel it. They won’t know what the problem is but they will pick up on your nervous feelings and if the person that is supposed to keep them safe in the world feels nervous where does that leave them?
If you have got this far and you are thinking ” she has no idea what it’s like to be a worrier ‘ I would like to tell you that I used to worry about everything. It took an acupuncturist many years ago, who shocked me by telling me she thought I was suffering from anxiety, for me to make a decision to learn how I could reduce my constant state of worrying. I have done it. I can help you to do it aswell.
Today you simply have to make a choice…
Are you ready to start controlling you levels of worry and stop allowing your worrying to control you?