How many thoughts do you have in a single day? Experts estimate people have been between 4,000 and 7,000 thoughts each day. In pregnancy, we are more at the mercy of our thoughts, with the daily thought count closer to 8,000. It sounds an outrageous amount of thoughts running through our brain, but most of the time we are not even aware that we are thinking. In fact, it is extremely difficult to simply stop the brain from thinking. We are even thinking when we are asleep!
Can you stop your thoughts?
Exercise: For a full minute stop all your thoughts. Set the timer for a minute and tell your mind not to think anything. If it does, attempt to stop the thought.
I expect this may feel like the longest minute of your life and the most frustrating. For experienced meditators this may be an easy ask, although the average untrained person will find this a super challenge. For most of us, we seem to be at the mercy of our thoughts and find it extremely difficult to have any power of them and their effect.
Pregnancy susceptible to bad thoughts
All pregnant women have terrifying and horrifying thoughts. Babble.com says that pregnancy is a time we focus on harmful self-thoughts. It is natural to be more concerned and hypervigilant at this vulnerable time. Being pregnant, we have a desperate need to protect ourselves and our growing child, which is built within each and every cell of our being. However, we often overfeed our thoughts like an insatiable hungry beast.
Gorging on even more thoughts of terror, horror and pregnancy drama. Once these thought beasts have their claws in us they won’t let go; filling our body with emotions of fear and dread. The feelings overwhelm and we start to create beliefs about our thoughts. Everything and anything will go wrong with my birth!
The thoughts are no longer just transitory thoughts. They are real, powerful and eager to stay as our firm and fast beliefs.
How these negative thoughts happen
Most bad thoughts are just transitory. They come and go without any emotional connection to them. They make us pause for a moment, then are quickly dismissed. If we don’t really believe them, they soon pass. In pregnancy, we have much more of these passing thoughts. It is mother nature’s way of to keep us on our toes; flinging random thoughts our way. This challenges us to focus deeply on our growing baby.
The persistent negative thoughts occur when we have firm, fixed beliefs. Mainly about others and the way they should or shouldn’t behave. When persistent negative thoughts occur about ourselves, they are simply unhelpful. The cause us to question our keen sense of our own value and worth.
These relentless thoughts effect our self-esteem in pregnancy and challenge our ability to be a good mother.
Are negative thoughts helpful in motivating us?
Think of how you would react to harsh Drill Sergeant barking orders; shouting out your short comings and delighting in your humiliation. I personally would thump him and walk off!
Your negative thoughts are just like this Drill Sergeant, you may think it will ‘force’ you to do better next time. Yet, negative thoughts are just that; ‘negative’ and unhelpful in achieving any positive change in your life. I personally would respond best to the more ‘positive thoughts’ with an encouraging, kind ‘Sergeant’ that give me the space and confidence to make the changes needed.
Key Point: Monitor your negative Drill Sergeant mind and notice how its negative comments are affecting your thoughts and emotions. Choose to quickly reject these negative thoughts and welcome in the positive life affirming thoughts.
Read more about how to eliminate bad pregnancy and birth thoughts in the Hypnobirthing Hub Home Study Course.