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How to Calm the Mind As You Journey Through Fertility Treatment

“Infertility is a catastrophe in every sense of the word. Yet, it is the very……

Infertility is a catastrophe in every sense of the word. Yet, it is the very struggle of infertility, its diminishing of reserves in every domain that can ultimately replenish and further. It requires us to look for happiness not on the outside but on the inside. The continual contractions–through withdrawal, resentment, fear, and panic–make us thirst for expansion: trust, acceptance, peace, and finally liberation.” Janetti Marotta

Infertility is a medical condition that can touch every aspect of your life from the way you feel about yourself, to your most intimate relationship, to your overall perspective on life.

The infertility experience creates uncertainty and emotional turmoil. If you’ve been struggling with infertility, you understand what I’m saying. As overwhelming as your situation feels, there are ways to reduce your anxiety and bring acceptance to your experience.

For starters, take a deep breath and ground yourself. Our thoughts are much worse than what we are actually experiencing. The Rain technique outlined below offers a structured, consistent way to feel better.

I use the “Rain Technique” as a tool for clients, to help them transform their relationship with the negative feelings that “arise and fall” as they move through their journey. Some of the negative feelings associated with infertility include anger, jealousy, sadness, feelings of loss, hopelessness and even despair. These are all difficult emotions for anyone to feel and the more we can become aware of them from a place of from calm, loving acceptance, the better we will feel about ourselves.

“Rain, rain go away, please come back another day.”

The first step is recognizing.

R: Recognize the emotion that is troubling you and pay attention to it without adding judgment. Naming the emotion and opening up to it is the first step. For example, if you are feeling jealous, simply whisper to yourself, jealous, or if you are feeling anxious, say anxiety. Naming the emotion breaks it down. We are not the emotion.

A: Accept that this is the present reality. You may not like it or enjoy it, but the alternative to not accepting only augments the existing tendencies towards negativity. Breathe into it. Befriend it. Notice where you contract and let go. Remember, this is just a feeling, it’s going to pass. As human beings we all experience pleasant and unpleasant emotions.

I: Investigate how you feel with self-compassion. Once you offer acceptance to just being with the negative emotion, you can delve deeper and explore.

What caused me to feel this way? Has it happened before?
Where do I feel it in my body physically?
Sense your gravity and feet on the ground?
What do I need to get through?

N: Non-identification flows from exploring uncomfortable emotions with self-compassion. As you give yourself permission to accept and relate differently to your distress, it doesn’t feel as disruptive. You will begin to see patterns and create a space between your thoughts and emotions. Your emotional self-regulation will improve. Your physical body will relax.

If you practice this technique, overtime you will make changes to your experience.

(The RAIN technique, outlined above, was created by a group of traditional Buddhist teachers.The technique offers mindful awareness to difficult feelings and negative thinking.)

Amira is a Social Worker  in Toronto, Ontario. She works with individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility. Amira facilitates the Mind-Body Fertility Group  at Mt. Sinai Hospital.  She is also a mother of three miracles.

For more information, visit her on Twitter and Instagram.

Amira Posner

Amira Posner is Clinical Social Worker with a Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Social Work from the University of Manitoba. In addition to working with individuals, couples and families providing therapy in a secure and safe setting, she is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Amira is also a certified hypnotherapist.

Amira Posner

July 7, 2023 • 3 minutes

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