Anxiety and the Horrible Breakup

Anxiety and the Horrible Breakup.

Advertisements

Anxiety and the Horrible Breakup

So your relationship is over? Whether it is a divorce, a breakup with a long time partner or the dissolution of something that you felt would have potential, breakups are painful. My clients report being in literal physical pain after a breakup, and many do not know how to soothe the pain or where to turn to get better. Let’s discuss the energy of ending a relationship.

When a relationship ends there is a grieving process that is rivaled only by death. I have heard some say that death might be easier.  I believe it was Alice Cooper that said he felt like  “the man with no skin” after a breakup. This is echoed by my clients over and over. One client stated that she felt like someone had poured gasoline on her and lit her on fire. This is no small pain.

Anxiety prevails alongside the pain as the major emotion that is reported to me. What will I do now? Will she come back? Is it really over? Will I ever really heal? Having to rebuild a life that you thought would be different is a monumental task when you are in pain and twisted in knots with anxiety. Doubting your ability to make decisions and lack of confidence in yourself comes with the blow to the self esteem. Learning who you are all over again seems impossible, since it feels like half of your identity walked out the door.

I have been told that the feeling of grief of losing someone is the same feeling of loving someone. The difference is the story that the brain is telling about the sensation. Since you are already in that energetic space in your body, you can leverage the energy by focusing on something that you love and dwelling on that instead of the lost partner. Learning to shift out of the energy of grief and into the energy of love is very helpful in transforming the pain. Transform the focus from the lost partner to your dog, or your child, or even your wounded self can help change the story your mind is telling your body.

Allowing the pain and anxiety to flow through your body without resistance is so important. If you resist the waves of pain and anxiety they will set up residence in your body and will be unremitting. If you can focus on your body, visualize the pain there as transitory and actually visualize it passing through you you will find some comfort.

Common advice like the “no contact rule” is hard to follow, but I promise if you block their number, unfriend them on Facebook, and give yourself a chance to breathe, you will feel a small surge in anxiety at first, but you will notice a feeling almost like a buffer between you and the energetic tie to the partner. There may be times that feel almost like panic when you realize that those ties of communication are cut, but if you breathe through the panic, and get really grounded (notice the sensations in your body, be aware of what is going on in the moment, feel your feet on the floor) the panic will pass.

Actually determine what your emotional needs are. Do you need to socialize? Friends are a life line during this time. Lean on them and let them meet some of your social needs. Do you need to spend some time in the cave? Stock up on comfort food and Kleenex and give yourself time alone to lick your wounds. Do you need to keep busy? Make some plans to start a project, finish one, or pitch in to help someone else with theirs. Really knowing what you need during this time will help you process the grief.

 When you love someone, what you are really loving is how YOU feel when you think about that person. Given this, know that you can feel that way again about someone else because the feeling comes from within you. During a breakup it is hard to look for the gift. You will know that you are beginning to heal when you notice that you can look at the things you brought out of the relationship that made you stronger, helped you learn to love deeper, or that made you a better communicator.

In some people the discomfort passes quickly, in others it feels that it will never go away. Learning to function with the pain and anxiety is key to moving on and thriving after a breakup. Look for small things that bring you joy, notice the change of the seasons, really tune in to others, looking for things you have in common. Making deep connections with others is an activity that stimulates oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and can help ease the pain for awhile.

You will get better. One day you will wake up and notice that it does not hurt to breathe, or that you are looking forward to your day. When you can tell your story without wanting to cry you will know that healing is taking place. Until then, be very gentle with yourself. You deserve your love!

The anxiety of what your life is going to be like after a breakup is very uncomfortable, but there are a few things you can do to help you to understand the healing process and to ease the discomfort. If you find that the grief if not passing and that you are not able to move on, maybe counseling or life coaching are an option that could help you. Feel free to call me at 770-789-0847 or see my website at www.carolyntuckertherapist.com to set an appointment.

Anxiety….What If I am Not as Happy With My Baby as I Expected?

New mother anxiety can be overwhelming. Not only do you wake up with a body you don’t recognize, a life that is nothing like the one glamorously portrayed in commercials, but you wake up with this tiny human in your home whom you may or may not connect with. Moms who do not feel immediately connected with their new bundles of joy report high levels of anxiety.

Inability to share these feelings is isolating. There may be reluctance to share with friends lest they be judged, families who minimize the feelings and spouses who may feel helpless or get their feelings hurt by the revelation. No matter what the reason, the new mom feels alone and guilty, and anxious that she is a “bad mother” or that she will never feel connected to this little person for whom she has total responsibility.

In therapy I attempt to normalize these feelings for the new mother. We all experience things differently. I do a screening for post partum mood disorders as well. This is frequently overlooked, and is a simple assessment to identify areas where the mother needs support. Medication is not always recommended. Many mothers want to continue nursing, and medication may compromise this. Nutritional support for the mother can be just as effective as prescription medication and allow the mother to continue nursing, which will enhance the bonding experience, and experience less side effects as well.

Working with the mother to develop bonding by encouraging the mother to notice the baby’s body language, vocalization cues and eye gaze is helpful. Once you start breaking down the baby’s attempts to communicate on a primal level sometimes a mom can step right into her role and be the mirror her baby needs.  Skin to skin contact and staring into the baby’s eyes helps stimulate oxytocin, the bonding hormone.

An exhausted mom is no help to anyone. A good schedule of self care activities is a must. Someone to hold the baby while mom takes an extended bubble bath or long hot shower can make her feel like she has won the lottery. Activities that stimulate the mother’s creative potential are helpful. Taking pictures of the baby can help her feel more connected. Scrapbooking while the baby is sleeping can stimulate those feelings of attachment as well. A mom must be engaged in activities that bring her joy. If she is feeling anxious about the baby usurping her life, then the opportunity to get out for a while during the baby’s nap may help her feel a little more like herself so that when she comes home she is better able to bond with her baby.

There are many reasons that a mom may not feel bonded to her baby in the beginning, some normal, some needing attention. The key is being aware of your feelings and being able to reach out to someone who will not judge you and will be able to ascertain whether you need additional support or not. Know that there are counselors available that can help you get on your feet and that can work with you to develop that relationship with your baby you desire.

In my practice, TRU Integrative Health and Wellness we have a program called TRUbaby, designed to meet the needs of the pregnant or new mom. Clinicians educated on interventions and modalities specific to moms and babies are available to help you navigate this exciting time.  We offer psychotherapy, chiropractic, nutrition, massage, reiki, hypnosis, acupuncture and acupressure, and yoga, as well as several other energy healing modalities that are helpful in getting the new mom on her feet. Please see www.growhealchange.com for more information or call me directly at 770-789-0847, email me at carolyn@growhealchange.com or see my personal website at www.carolyntuckertherapist.com for more information.

How to Build a Quality Life Despite Anxiety and Depression

When you suffer the symptoms of anxiety or depression nothing seems quite right. It is like the picture on the wall is slightly crooked, and your perceptions of everything are slightly skewed. Thoughts and feelings can feel muted. It may have been a very long time since you remember feeling good or being happy. To get back to that happy place requires a bit of discipline.

When I ask my clients with anxiety or depression what they do to take care of themselves, inevitably they answer “nothing.” The first step to building a quality of life despite anxiety or depression is radical self care.  Taking time to do the things that make you feel pampered is so important to helping you feel better. Some clients like a bubble bath and a candle with some lovely music playing in the background, eating at the table on good china with cloth napkins, or some may prefer a massage or going for a run. Each person experiences the feeling of nurture differently, so it is important that you choose activities that speak self love to you.

Gratitude is a quick way to tune in to life and to turn around negative feelings. Studies show that focusing on gratitude develops new neural pathways in the brain. Develop gratitude for finding a parking space, or for soft tissues to blow your nose on or for a fluffy comforter on a cool evening. Be grateful for the little things and be vocal about them. I personally note three things that I am grateful for every day on Facebook. It keeps me accountable for noticing the blessings in my life. Since I started the discipline I have many friends that share in the practice. Develop a community of gratitude and it will be difficult to dwell on negativity.

People suffering with anxiety and depression may have lost touch with a sense of joy. Actively searching for things that make your soul sing is a wonderful step towards creating that life you want. I am not talking big things, but little ones, like noticing cloud shapes or the color of the changing leaves or the feel of the fall breeze on your skin. Put a hard candy in your mouth and be carried away by the taste and the sensation on your tongue. If you are constantly scanning your environment for things that bring you joy you will eventually find quality of life strung together like beads on a thread.

Using these simple interventions I have seen clients literally turn their lives around. People who came into my office only a few weeks before looking morose are almost unrecognizable after instituting these practices. Sometimes it is almost difficult to convince people to try them, but the dramatic impact that I see after a few short weeks is well worth the effort. If you need guidance instituting these practices or dealing with the symptoms of anxiety or depression feel free to call me at 770-789-0847, email me at carolyn@growhealchange.com or see my website at www.carolyntuckertherapist.com to set up an appointment.