When faced with a complicated pregnancy so many moms tell themselves to think positively as a way to keep their spirits up.
This message is reinforced by loved ones who tell you to "keep your chin up" and "just stay positive".
Moms do this in efforts to find hope during all of the ups and downs they face.
It makes sense.
With the unknowns lying ahead of you and with how overwhelming it is to feel like a ticking time bomb, it's only natural to want to search for anything that will help you lift your mood and give you energy to fight on another day.
The problem is that thinking positively doesn't actually work.
Negative thoughts come from negative beliefs.
Every time you've had a negative thought about your pregnancy or the future it's shedding light on an underlying negative belief that's driving that thought.
For example, when you think, "I'm failing my baby", it comes from a belief such as "I'm not good enough". Thoughts like, "I don't know how to get through this" are a result of an underlying belief such as, "I'm not capable".
Our beliefs shape the way we see the world. (Tweet that!)
You may not be consciously aware of these beliefs but they're the root from which these negative thoughts arise.
Our beliefs impact what we think, what we do and what we expect for ourselves and our loved ones.
So even if you were able to stop the negative thought, the underlying beliefs would still be governing the way you operated in your world and that's why changing your thoughts isn't helping you feel better.
Trying to quiet the negative thoughts will only make them louder.
A high-risk pregnancy is one marathon after another. And to simply have the strength to keep going, sometimes you just need to shut down the negative chatter before it brings you down.
You may find that the only way to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks is to "be positive."
So you create a mantra ("Take a deep breath") or a positive affirmation ("You're doing great") to repeat to yourself every night before bed.
Or you force yourself to think the exact opposite of what you've been thinking.
"Everything will be fine," you tell yourself.
This approach is great for quick bursts of confidence, such as when you need to gear yourself up for a doctor's appointment.
However, this is not a useful strategy in the long run.
By trying to "think positive" you're suppressing your underlying belief and the emotions that come with it. (Tweet that!)
Countless research studies have shown that suppressing your emotions does nothing other than bury them deep until they find another way out.
Emotion suppression has also been linked to complications such as
increased stress levels (and stress is an independent risk factor for preterm birth)
higher blood pressure