First, the “scary” news: A research study done with women who were going through IVF showed that the women who were more optimistic and hopeful had more eggs and went on to have more live births than women who were the least optimistic.
I say this is scary simply because fertility is filled with plenty of emotions. How can anyone be optimistic and positive ALL the time?
However, because of the way your body’s stress response wreaks havoc on your reproductive system, and because your body does have a way to set up “no’s” to conception, it is important to deal with your emotions.
I believe that there are two important skills to have.
The first is to be congruent with your feelings and emotions. This means what you are feeling… you are saying. So you aren’t saying on the outside, “I’m fine, I’m POSITIVE, I’m happy,” and on the inside you are really feeling scared, panicked, and anxious. Your body doesn’t have any idea what to do with this. This sets up a stress response in your body that’s even stronger than just having the emotion. Plus, you never get a chance to work out why you are feeling that way and get yourself to feeling better.
Second, you need to learn to create a place of peace inside your body no matter what is going on around you.
Now, this doesn’t mean you will feel peaceful all the time. You are going to have emotions come up on a daily basis. Instead of having the goal to feel peaceful at all times, you want to be able to learn to have the emotions, deal with them, and then be able to re-find your place of peace.
Re-finding your place of peace allows your body to shut off your biological stress response that can be so detrimental to all the systems of your body when it runs long term. An ongoing stress response in your body will have detrimental effects on your reproductive system.
Re-finding your place of peace gives your body and mind a rest and a break. It also allows you to be able to make decisions from a more centered perspective.
So, in your toolbox you want to have tools that allow you to create both physical and emotional peace.
One of the biggest actions you can do to stay AWAY from peace is to push against your feelings and emotions. Now, this may seem like I am telling you to do two different things: find peace AND feel your emotions.
However, what you want to do first is to OWN your feelings. If you are angry — be angry. If you are sad — be sad. Trying to push away emotions, or cover them up, only intensifies them and makes them come out in ways you don’t want.
What I think feels so difficult about doing this is that we think that mind~body medicine means we “shouldn’t” be angry; we should be feeling “positive”.
You begin to think: If I want to get pregnant, I can’t feel sad, I must feel hopeful. If I want to get pregnant, I “should” be able to get through the two WW with ease and without any stress. All of these “shoulds” and “musts” end up creating more stress, more pressure, and more worry.
NOT the goal!
- In the moment, reach for the best thought you currently can have. If that means anger is the best you can do right now, great. That is actually a lot higher on the emotional scale than depression. Then, as you keep having thoughts, reach for a thought that is just a little bit less angry, and a little bit less angry, and then a little bit less angry. Perhaps then, you will be able to move your thoughts up from anger to discouragement. While this seems like exchanging one “negative” emotion for another, feeling discouraged is actually higher up on a scale of emotions where Powerlessness is at the bottom and Joy is at the top.
Check it out for yourself. How does the experience of anger feel in your body versus the experience of feeling discouraged?
This is just an example. The main point, again, is to reach for the best thought you can in the moment and then cut yourself a break. You ARE doing the best you can. Releasing the “shoulds” and “musts” are a huge step in finding your way to your place of peace.
- Begin to create your place of peace. What activities allow you to slip away from the day-to-day world? Reading a great book? Taking a walk outside? While these sound like your typical “just relax” activities, it is important to incorporate these into your daily routine. These activities allow your body to find a resting point.
I’ve given you a lot to think about in today’s post.
Here’s the “take away” message: allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Then, everyday do something or give yourself the time to slip into a more peaceful space. When you do both of these, you will be well on your way to feeling more positive and having your reproductive system in much better balance for conceiving.