New moms: how to let go of negative thoughts

19 Sep 2019

The way we view the world, and ourselves, is a result of our thoughts – conscious and unconscious.

This is all well and good when we’re having positive thoughts, but what happens when negative thoughts start to build up and cause a poor self-image?

The human brain has evolved to remember negative experiences better than positive ones. One theory is that while we were hunting and gathering, we needed to remember negative experiences more vividly to avoid danger in the future. But, in 2019, negative experiences don’t involve sabre-toothed tigers, yet we still hang onto them – out of a fear of repeating them. Because of this, we tend to be harsh and unforgiving towards ourselves, causing a vicious spiral of negative thoughts.

The first thing we need to do to change this cycle is to catch these negative thoughts when they happen. When they come, bring yourself to the present and ask: ‘What is happening with me right now? and ‘Why am I feeling this way?’

After examining your thoughts, challenge them. Consciously decide if what you are thinking is, first of all, true and, secondly, it’s what you want to believe and think. By doing this enough times, you break the negative habit and form a new, positive one.


Murray Booth, a marketing executive at Cuddlers, wants to strongly motivate moms to challenge any negative thoughts that they have. “So many expectations of mothers are unrealistic for one person to fulfil. This leaves no room for anything but disappointment and many moms turn that disappointment inward. We want moms to realise that their best is enough and that it’s ok to make mistakes,” said Booth.

Fhumulani Makhera, the social auxiliary worker at Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, wants to remind moms to talk about their negative feelings. “This is exactly why we wanted to create these support groups. It helps moms realise that they are not alone and they can gain reassurance and different points of view on how to overcome their
negative thoughts,” said Makhera.

Support sessions are sponsored by Cuddlers, Witkoppen Clinic, and the Fourways Review, under the banner of Caxton Cares. The sessions are bi-monthly on Thursdays, with the next session taking place on 26 September at 10:30am at the Witkoppen Clinic, 105 William Nicol Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg.

For more details, WhatsApp Fhumulani Makhera on 065 936 0559.