I’m sure you are familiar with the stress of conceiving – the drugs, timed sex, being surrounded by pregnant friends and the nosey relative. I bet you have been told to “just relax” or “take a long vacation”. Yes, stress has a big impact on reproductive health, but “just relaxing” does not solve the whole problem. Stress is coming from conflicting feelings, emotions that need to be acknowledge and released. Meditating can be helpful, but it doesn’t cut the muster when you are at the mall surrounded by baby strollers. Well, I was reading the June issue of the Oprah Magazine and found a great article “The Easier way to Diet” by Martha Beck. Yes, dieting has nothing to do with fertility, but having a coping mechanism is important not only for losing weight. Cultivating fertility requires supportive thought processes to avoid burn out. The article discusses using the “SO FAR” technique to help the brain process the feelings and remove part of the struggle. The following information has been modified from the article.
1) S is for Stop
Whenever you are anxious, when you hate your pregnant friend or feel your body has failed – Freeze. Stop doing anything. If you are with people, take a “nature is calling break” and head to the bathroom. No one is going to ask why.
2) O is for Open
The stress impact will feel tight – tight chest (hard to breath), tight shoulders/neck, achy scalp or eyes and racing thoughts. Once alone and still, feel the tightness and start to open it up. Widen your visual field by softening your eyes. Open your muscles by stretching. Open your mouth by yawning. Open your lungs with big breaths. No one yawns or takes deep breaths when stressed and thus this action tells the body to relax.
3) F is for Forgive
Is the most important step. Since you can’t create a relaxation response while attacking and being attacked, you must forgive yourself, and your body for all the supposed imperfections. It helps to make lists of things you’ve done right (eating a spleen qi diet, keeping in contact with friends, loving your cat/dog) and ways your body has served you (letting your sing, laugh, hug and read) Please make these lists. Make them very long. You’ll eventually reach self-forgiveness however grudgingly and you will start to pave a path for the calm mind to exist. By the way isn’t the bigger definition of fertility (the idea of abundance and growth) begins from within?
4) A is for Accept
If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re able to forgive yourself, it’s time to drop all resistance to things as they are right now. You don’t have to love or sustain what’s happening, you simply have to allow it to be as it is. You can live with that. Want proof? You are living with it. Breathe that in.
5) R is for Renew
From a place of stillness, openness, forgiveness, and acceptance, you can renew your commitment to the journey of life. A relaxed person is able to enjoy life, stays active and connected to the bigger world. Hopefully by introducing a new set of thoughts, calm women will not feel that “infertility” defines her life.