Psychotherapist and author Anna Mathur joins Happiful’s podcast to share her thoughts on negotiating the ups and downs of day to day life, gratitude, letting go of guilt and knowing that you deserve and are worth more
Anna Mathur is a Psychotherapist, a Sunday Times bestselling author, podcast host and a Mum of three, and like so many people across the country, she’s still learning how to manage the many hats she wears within the confines of lockdown.
“I’m finding that my emotions are changing all the time,” she explains honestly. “One minute I’m thinking ‘oh my gosh, I can’t do this, it’s the hardest thing,’ and then the next minute I think that it’s alright and there’s really beautiful elements to this time of challenge we’ve been going through. I just seem to pendulum between one way of thinking and the other.”
Anna’s insights are relatable and reassuring, as she shares that parents are not homeschooling (an active choice) but instead, they’re having to ‘emergency school’ during a pandemic. A switch in thinking, she says, that can help to take the pressure off and lower expectations upon yourself as a parent or carer.
Here’s some other insights from Anna’s episode:
If it wasn’t so powerful, I almost wouldn’t want to talk about it, but gratitude has completely changed my life, my relationships and the way I face things. It draws my attention from what is hard and what could go wrong to what is also good. It’s the ‘also’ and the ‘and’ in gratitude that's important.
My fear around gratitude as a therapist is that sometimes we can try to gratitude ourselves out of very valid feelings. Now I see gratitude as an increase of peripheral vision. I’m not just focussing on what is there and what is hard. It's like lighting a candle in a dark room, there’s still the darkness there. So, “I love my kids and oh my goodness sometimes I want to tear my hair out.” It’s bringing me perspective.
Letting go of guilt
The guilt that we feel so often is completely unjustified. The guilt that is tied to the shoulds, and the coulds and the comparisons. We’re comparing our messy behind the scenes of life to someone else's front of house!
So often guilt sits in our stomach like a big bit of coal and we’re more likely to criticise ourselves, be destructive, self sabotage and not look after ourselves because we’re almost punishing ourselves for the sake of this guilt.
One of the things I do is imagine taking out that lump of coal and taking a really good look at it. Then I implement ACT. I ask myself what I’m feeling guilty for, I pour compassion over the issue (because we’re all deserving of compassion) and then tweak something. What can we do, what is the guilt prompting you to do? Do you need to speak to someone, reach out to a therapist or put that guilt down, because it doesn’t belong to you anymore?
Knowing you deserve more
We all have the same worth, we’re all worth one point! I have the same worth as my children. It’s almost like we’ve been taught to love well we have to put ourselves last and that’s not the case.
Many of us are consistently bullying ourselves in our head, so it’s about starting to notice how you talk to yourself. Would you talk to your child like that, would you talk to your friend like that? If not, quite frankly, if it’s not good enough for them, it’s not good enough for you either!
Find out more about Anna, her book Mind Over Mother and her upcoming title Know Your Worth.