Before I became a mom I found it excessive when my mom would worry about me and my siblings even though we’re all grownups. She’d be worrying about the littlest things — asking whether we ate, where we’re going, who we’re hanging out with, what time we’re coming home, the list goes on. My mother-in-law is also a worrier towards her children, so are other moms that I know.
When I became a mom myself (mind you I’m still new to this), it took me by surprise that I’m just as much of a worrier, if not more. Now if you’re a new mama or an expert mama who is fascinated by the science behind pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood like me, you’ve probably already binged the Netflix docuseries called Babies.
It has an episode that talks about the woman’s amygdala — a small organ in the brain that’s responsible for emotional reactions.
Apparently, a woman’s amygdala opens up or grows in activity shortly after giving birth… this is why she’s got maternal instincts, this is why she’s a constant worrier, this is why she goes into warrior mode when somebody messes with her little one.
And her amygdala forever stays open or high in activity that it doesn’t matter whether her baby is no longer a baby — she will always worry. I find this adaptable change in brain activity so amazing — whereas her brain was previously only protective of herself, now her brain seeks to protect her little cub as well.
Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or any other activity that helps you focus on your inner self — these could all help shrink the amygdala or train the brain to take control of a hyperactive amygdala. This is why it’s really important for mamas to have some “me time” or engage in a hobby or any creative pursuit so we get a chance to relax and avoid getting anxiety disorders from a hyperactive amygdala.