GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Pregnancy, Mindfulness and What We Really Feel

Our mindset is extremely influential. It creates our filter on the world, impacts how we interpret the results we get, and even shifts the results that we do get. I was mindful of my mindset before and during my pregnancies, because, quite frankly, I knew at times that I didn’t have the most empowering mindsets.

A huge ah-ha moment occurred for me when I was talking to my life coach (who I purposely hired because she was a mom and an independent business owner) and trying to determine how to work my next tropical-destination vacation around my hopefully soon-to-come pregnancy. I didn’t want to “waste” my vacation time while I was pregnant because I wouldn’t be able to drink margaritas, I might be fat, I might be sluggish, etc. My coach asked me, “Do you want to be pregnant sitting in your house in Chicago in the winter or do you want to be pregnant strolling the beaches of Mexico?” Ah ha! I want the latter. mindful pregnancy

Why had I not seen that? This was a huge insight for me. I wanted to continue to lead the kind of life that I had created for myself, with entrepreneurship and flexibility in my days, and frequent vacations. And, I could continue to do that as I was pregnant. I could be “me” during my pregnancy. I could continue to live life “my” way. I didn’t have to carve out 9 months in which I’d downscale or pause my life. It was a huge, empowering mindset for me.

At the same time that I was working to shift my thoughts to more positive ones, I didn’t try to pretend that I wasn’t frustrated, disappointed, ashamed, or other negative emotions at times. I didn’t try to slap a Pollyanna view on top of what I was feeling.

For example, when I first started to share with people that I was pregnant with my first baby, people were over-the-top excited for us. My husband and I had been married for a while, and others weren’t sure whether we were going to become parents. They were so excited to find out that we were! And, I was ashamed and confused because I wasn’t nearly as excited as they were. My excitement was dimmed by my feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. I noticed my reaction to others’ enthusiasm, and I did my best to let my negative emotions be. I knew that there was always something to be learned from our feelings and that all our feelings are valid. I didn’t try to talk myself out of my shame and confusion.

Instead, I saw that my emotions made perfect sense. And so did the emotions of my loved ones. Of course they were excited. And, of course I was anxious and overwhelmed. Deciding to have a baby was a big responsibility. I didn’t want to take it lightly. I viewed my feelings as a good sign – a sign that I was fully cognizant of my actions and the consequences.

I choose not to feel bad about myself because I felt some “negative” emotions. I could feel confused and uncomfortable, yet not have to judge myself as a “bad” person or mom. And, I realized that even though I may experience “negative” thoughts or emotions during my journey, that doesn’t mean that I have to declare the whole pregnancy “negative.” I can have both.

I can have a range of feelings. I can have unwanted emotions and reactions inside of what I consider to be a wonderful experience!

Allowing myself to fully feel and learn from my negative feelings and concerns – without having to write off the whole experience as “bad” – was a highly valuable endeavor.

How have your mindsets affected you? When have you chosen to shift your mindset? …and how did you do it?

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