Learning how to manage your stress more efficiently may not only increase your chances for a successful pregnancy, but will prove to be a useful tool into parenthood and beyond. Using mindfulness to deal with anxiety and stress related to infertility is a unique approach that has recently started to be researched and even validated.
Mindfulness can be defined as a perspective that cultivates a present-moment focus, with an awareness of acceptance and compassion. Using a mindfulness approach can help one manage stress more effectively, by assisting in changing the relationship to the stressors and experience. Mindfulness lift us out of the rut of feeling hopeless and in despair.
Mindfulness can assist in taking back control, during a journey that often feels very out of control. We can start to play with our attention and where we choose to focus it. Instead of worrying about the results of a particular procedure, mindfulness allows us to acknowledge the concern and label it “worry” or “anxiety”; and then hopefully shift our awareness to a more useful, present and productive state. We are consciously altering the way we respond to stress. As we shift into a mindful state, our physical bodies relax and open up.
The infertility journey has a tendency to induce “perseverative thinking” about the process. A constant gnawing of worry that something isn’t quite right. This gnawing is the very door that mindfulness can open. Knock, Knock, Knock. Mindfulness can shift our minds back into our control, quieting the “monkey mind” that swings wildly from the past to future, worry to fear and back again, until it finds its way back into the still spaciousness of the present moment.