Why I’m bringing my hypnobirthing self to work
I was lucky enough to discover the Positive Birth Company in the months before having my son. This online hypnobirthing course is doing amazing things to make an empowered birth accessible to everyone (and its fabulous founder, Siobhan Miller, was recently recognised on the 35 under 35 list). This training taught me how to utilise my mind to overcome a daunting obstacle in front of me. It’s been two years since I’ve used it, but recently I’ve been reflecting on its relevance to all areas of my life and work. So, here’s why I’m bringing my hypnobirthing self to work.
Hypnobirthing is a mixture of visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques designed to manage pain during childbirth. It also involves understanding how the body works. In this case, knowledge is indeed power! Understanding why your body is doing the things it is doing helps create a sense of control. And trust me, feeling in control is very important in labour.
But how is hypnobirthing relevant to business?
Well, it’s taught me that I can adapt and put my mind to any new challenges. Every industry is changing at pace, so adopting an ‘always learning’ approach is the way forward. Get ahead of the transformation, so you remain in control.
And, from a practical point of view, hypnobirthing highlights the importance of finding your rhythm and listening to your body. The pandemic has likely given us all a chance to understand what our bodies and minds do when stressful situations occur. Thanks to our fight or flight response, we’ve felt a new level of exhaustion as we subconsciously respond to the crisis. Hypnobirthing teaches you to take hold of these reactions and stop them from overpowering you. This stop and pause approach has enormous benefits in all aspects of life. Taking the time to check in your energy can be a brilliant way to define your daily to-do list. Forcing yourself to grind out a creative project when your energy is low will likely prove unsuccessful.
To avoid wasting the day, swap in some admin or refuel by taking a walk (or, in my case, obsessively prune your rose bushes). And for women and those who menstruate, getting closer to how ‘seasons’ work in your menstrual cycle is another avenue to look at to understand how your energy ebbs and flows. In short, listening to your body rather than forcing the plan for the day could take you to another level of productivity.
Keeping calm in a crisis
Fundamentally, however, hypnobirthing is about being calm in a crisis. The Positive Birth Company uses B.R.A.I.N – which is a five-stage process to help assess decisions at each stage. We all have our ways of working through stress but adopting a pause, consider, act approach never fails to help shine light on a difficult situation. Another valuable tool is breathing. Some postnatal women never want to talk about the ‘four counts in, eight counts out’ technique again, but I was lucky enough to use it successfully within labour. I’ve not mastered regularly stilling my mind through meditation yet, but when I’ve felt anxious or in pain, using that breathing has proved invaluable.
Finally, hypnobirthing won’t work without self-belief. Doubt has no place in the birthing suite, and neither does it in the workplace. Conviction in your actions is everything. Get behind what you’re doing, understand why you’re doing it and do so with purpose. It all feels so much easier when you care. It’s the path I’ve decided to follow with my communications and customer experience business focusing on femtech and female-led innovation *subtle plug*.
Wherever you are in life, the principles behind hypnobirthing – pausing to react, listening to your body, adopting new skills – feel more critical than ever. Give it a try,. Who knows, it could be the birth of something beautiful!