However have you actually spent any time considering how healthy and fertile your mind is right now?
Modern life is very fast-paced. It’s easy to forget about our mental health when we are rushing around juggling work, relationships, finances and other commitments. Just the act of trying to conceive each month and going through the emotions of hope, anxiety, and then complete devastation, adds to our already huge stress load. We tend to try and ignore the stress and tension that build up in our body, and as is very typical of women – just keep going regardless.
To ‘keep on going’, there is a tendency to function on less sleep, eat a poor diet, drink more caffeine for that immediate ‘hit’, not find time for exercising and turn to alcohol to try and relax at the end of a stressful day
Prolonged stress is very bad for us on many levels, but what it can do to our fertility is pretty devastating.
Biologically, when we are stressed the body produces more adrenaline, which in turn causes us to release more of the hormone cortisol. When the demand for cortisol is high the body ‘borrows’ other hormones and reduces the hormone progesterone in our blood stream. Progesterone is crucial for fertility and without the proper hormone balance, the likelihood of conceiving is dramatically reduced.
Recent studies clearly identify that psychological stress impairs fertility and that prolonged stress may reduce the efficacy of infertility treatments such as IVF
Often we can’t change the pace of life and the stresses around us, but what we CAN change is how we deal with it.
Fertility Coaching is a relatively new approach in the UK, but it’s one that is becoming more and more popular as women experience the benefit reducing stress and increasing positivity has on their ability to conceive.
My clients find that Fertility Coaching helps them to achieve a much more positive mind-set and empowers them to bring back the sense of self that they have lost along the way.
Fertility Coaching is also about learning the tools to help navigate the stressful times. Whether it is coping with general life demands or the stress of a turbulent fertility journey.
Here are 5 tools that my client’s find helps them lower stress levels and increase positivity………..
1. Keep a Fertility Journal- Buy yourself a pretty notebook and use this to record your thoughts and feelings. This is the one place where you can be truly honest with yourself without the fear of anyone else knowing your deepest darkest thoughts. Research into journaling to improve health and lower stress levels is powerfully conclusive.
2. 80/20 Rule - Use with your journal. Regain some control over your life by allowing yourself to think and if necessarily worry about trying to conceive for 20% of the time and the remaining 80% try and get on with (to the best of your ability) your life. Use your 20% of time for writing in your journal, researching online, making appointments or discussing fertility issues with your partner etc. But then be strict with yourself and use your 80% on the rest of your life.
3. Gratitude List - Every day think of 3 things you feel thankful for. They can be big things or even small like ‘It’s a sunny day to day’. Consider these 3 things in the morning to get you feeling positive for the day ahead. Ideally write them in your fertility journal so you can be reminded of them when you are feeling a little blue.
4. The 3 Question Technique - For every negative thought ask yourself, is this statement true? Is it helpful for me? Is it helpful for anyone else? If the answer is a big resounding ‘NO’ to all 3, ditch the negative thought and move on.
5. Bad Days Exercise - When you are having a down day, what thoughts go through your mind? Analyse them a little bit. What happens? Write these thoughts down fully in your journal. What could you do to help you cope on these days? It can be big things or small. When have you had bad days before? Did you get through it (of course you did!), what did you do previously to help yourself through that day? What’s the worst that could happen? Did it happen? I suspect not.
About the Author……..
Kate Davies is a fertility practitioner, fertility coach and columnist. Kate works with women wishing to optimise their ability to conceive naturally and coaches women going through a difficult fertility journey.
Kate’s background is working for over 20 years as a NHS specialist nurse in Gynaecology, Sexual and contraceptive health and fertility. Kate has her own practice in Lincolnshire but also teaches and consults women nationally and internationally via the wonders of Skype!
As well as her natural fertility and coaching services, Kate is also passionate about Natural Contraception and teaches women all over the country on how to use this effective, safe and natural method of contraception.
You can find out more about Kate and the services she offers below…………
Facebook sites: www.facebook.com/yourfertilityjourney
Looking for an online Fertility Support Group? Look no further…… https://www.facebook.com/groups/Yourfertilitysupportgroup/