Going through infertility challenges frequently takes a toll on one’s physical and mental well-being. I often make the comparison between infertility and ADD. Yes! Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD and infertility both take away our attention, leaving little to no room for one to just -be- in the present. Fertility struggles are a constant distraction. I know from personal experience.
I refer to it as the “wild mind” with ongoing pervasive thoughts about infertility. These thoughts, combined with an increased desire to fix a problem, can make it difficult to concentrate at work and difficult to enjoy life in general. Sometimes, there isn’t anything that needs to be fixed.
The question is this. What can I do to feel better? How can I help myself? How can I continue on my fertility journey and also live my life. I know the two may feel mutually exclusive. They aren’t.
Mindfulness is one way to strengthen your mental health. It is a way you can bring yourself back to the present moment. If you aren’t sure where that is, just look at your feet. Yes, your feet will tell you exactly where you are.
Of course, that is not enough. A big part of mindfulness is acceptance. You may not necessarily like what is happening, but by bringing some form of acceptance into the process, you can soften the experience. You can lean into your situation more easily. Why? Because your physical body is relaxed and unclenched. This approach is nurturing. This taps into your wise mind.
Mindfulness techniques allow you to let go of judgment. Mindfulness provides a clear lens of awareness that can transform your approach to life and how you can care for yourself. Remember after-all, you are the vessel!
Affirmations can also help you feel better. The inner critic might not have anything good to say right now. A neutral or positive affirmation combined with a deep breath can bring you back to balance. Here are some affirmations which I found have helped other women.
I am strong,
I am capable,
My womb is fertile,
I can nourish and nurture myself,
My journey is also my destination.
Another way back to yourself is through the breath. When we feel like we have become enmeshed with the noise in our mind, we can gently revert our attention back the breath. One big inhale and slow exhale and we are back. Just like that. Ta Da!
Let’s get fancy!
This breathing technique below combines the breath with affirmations.
The 4-5-6 breathing technique
- Breathe in slowly for 4 seconds. Repeat in your mind “I am calm”
- Hold your breath for 5 seconds Repeat “I am healing”
- Exhale slowly for 6 seconds. Repeat “I am here.”
Undergoing fertility treatments or pursuing alternative paths to parenthood requires a lot of hard physical and mental work.It can feel like a part time job. It is exhausting and joy sucking. As we move through the fertility journey, it becomes very clear how much our emotional state depends on how we perceive our bodies to be.
When our sense of self as the problem dominates the fertility journey, we forget that balance is the natural state of our bodies. Our perspective is lost
That’s why I’m here!
Mind-body strategies for your fertility can creates new pathways toward calm, clarity, and increased joy. The more we practice mindfulness the easier it becomes to connect with our inner peace and navigate challenges.
Do you want some guidance back to your heart?
We have open registration for our winter Mind-Body Fertility series. Please see the link below.
XO Amira Posner
Amira is a Social Worker in Toronto, Ontario. She works in private practice with individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility. She is also a mother of three miracles.
Bridging Hope & Acceptance