How to Find Joy Day to Day When Trying to Conceive
Infertility brings with it a myriad of issues from making sense of medical information and juggling the dizzying array of appointments and treatment options.
Then there is having to manage stress and struggling with worry; the challenges of living with infertility (sub-fertility) can be daunting for even the most resilient person.
It’s no surprise that much has been written about successful ways to cope with the rollercoaster ride of emotions for couples trying to conceive, including the benefits of relying on peer support groups and leading a healthy, fertile lifestyle.
Clearly, there’s much to be gained from finding practical ways to handle the difficulties that an infertility (sub-fertility) diagnosis often brings.
It is possible and indeed very common, to become so preoccupied with trying to conceive that it becomes difficult to find joy, wonder, gratitude, and pleasure in everyday life.
Why is this the case?
People can become so busy reacting to the challenges of infertility and the monthly cycle of hope and disappointment, that they stop proactively seeking out good things to enjoy.
Research shows that things done to help reduce anxiety and sadness have little effect on happiness or satisfaction.
In other words, it doesn’t follow that happiness is achieved by not feeling sad!
Sigmund Freud likened the levels in the human mind to an iceberg. The top of the iceberg that can be seen above the water represents the conscious mind, or general awareness. The part of the iceberg that is submerged below the water but is still visible is the preconscious mind, or ordinary day to day memory. The bulk of the iceberg lies unseen beneath the waterline and represents the subconscious mind.
The comparison used demonstrates that the bulk of human thinking consists of sub-conscious thoughts, feelings and emotions. In order to experience joy, it is necessary to
engage with and enrich all aspects of the mind, but especially to find techniques to harness and improve the happiness levels in the subconscious mind.
A happiness researcher at the University of California found that life circumstances (e.g. money, personal appearance, success) only account for 10% of happiness. 50% depends on our genetic pre-disposition for being a happy individual.
A whopping 40% of our happiness is influenced by what we do deliberately to make ourselves happy.
Being happy is the key antecedent to joy
“You can’t be joyful all the time,” says researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, “but people who are happy are going to be joyful more frequently.”
Here’s what experts believe you can do to increase the joy, both large and small, in your life:
The Mayo Clinic in the USA has created a ‘Handbook for Happiness’ based on its research. It includes a four-step, 10-week program aimed at changing attitudes, as Dr Amit Sood, who led the research, believes that happiness is a choice. He has developed something known as the 5-3-2 technique that helps train the mind into focusing on the positive aspects of life.
People often report enjoying themselves most after positive “flow” experiences – those moments when they became totally absorbed in what they were doing and lost all sense of time and place, such as being captivated by a favorite mystery novel. The key is simply experiencing the positive event as it unfolds without thinking too hard about it.
Dr Sood also advocates building emotional resilience through gratitude, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness. Whether it’s the joy of spending time with family or the pleasure of going for a morning stroll, try to notice the good things in that moment.
Increase feelings of joy by expressing gratitude for these good things inwardly or outwardly.
The third stage of the Mayo Clinic program is to strengthen the connection between mind and body. Sood encourages a range of activities designed to relax the mind including reading, exercise, music, art, prayer, meditation and yoga.
It is best if people adopt healthy habits, such as exercising more and eating well, both of which are an essential part of leading a fertile lifestyle.
To illustrate how building emotional resilience, take the case of a lady who fought a very aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for nearly 2 decades. She had dreadful episodes of the disease, when tumors have fractured her spine and nearly shut down her liver. At various times, she was told she had “just months to live.” Now free from cancer for nearly 3 years, she reflects on how, even in the face of this deadly disease, she never lost her ability to experience joy.
At one point, when she thought she had only a short time to live, she planted roses with her toddler grandson, even though she knew they wouldn’t bloom for months. Connecting to nature and to someone she loved “brought me tremendous joy,” she says.
She now gets “unbelievable joy” every afternoon by going outside to read with her legs resting on her 57 kilo dog, Clyde, something she says takes her back to the joy she felt as a young child growing up in Norway when her dog would pull her on skis through the woods.
Joy is what makes life beautiful
Joy gets people through challenges by allowing light in to illuminate the shadows. Joy heals wounds, inspires to greatness, and fills the soul with goodness.
Other research endorses the third stage of the Mayo program through stressing the importance of empowering the connection of the mind-body. Researchers have begun to demonstrate the psychological benefits of being consciously aware of positive feelings while experiencing them.
Mindfulness is a meditative technique
Mindfulness helps the individual celebrate the present and connect with countless positive
experiences – from the spectacle of a beautiful sunset to fully appreciating accomplishments and those of loved ones. Natural fertility consultant Fiona Kacz-Boulton at Awakening Fertility offers Mind-Body Detox programmes, which include learning how to meditate and experience mindfulness.
For a helpful, easy to read and – more importantly – put into practice step by step guides on mindfulness, meditation and manifestation read Fiona’s eBook (as pictured to the right).
Yoga for acquiring more joy
Yoga can stimulate joy. Yoga attends to all aspects of being – body, mind, breath, emotions and the inner Self. Awareness of breath allows the individual to be in the present moment. Regular practice of Yoga establishes the individual in the Self; feeling a sense of belongingness with everyone and everything and at peace internally and with everything around.
QiYoga for Fertility
A natural fertility solution, which is the only form of Yogic exercise recommended for anyone TTC and can even be continued during pregnancy, is QiYoga. This form of fertility yoga differs from regular yoga, as QiYoga nourishes the sex organs as well as promotes healing for the whole reproductive system, the digestive system and spinal column.
On the mental and spiritual level, QiYoga gives the practitioner feelings of really being alive,
being re-energised and refreshed as they connect to themselves through this mindful and life changing practice.
The natural reaction to an infertility or sub-fertility diagnosis is uncertainty, which often makes people anxious and afraid. When it proves difficult to see the good in life, go out and look for something that brings joy. It could be as simple as lying down in the grass and watching the clouds race across the sky or making a trip to a favourite, special place that brings happiness.
Joining retreats are an excellent way to rest, recover, rejuvenate, recharge your batteries and leave feeling refreshed on all levels.
Click here to find out details of local revitalising retreats
Research shows that no matter how it’s done, being in the moment and savouring positive experiences, not only enhances quality of life, but it can also strengthen the immune system and promote physical health. Unfortunately, people are often too busy, distracted, or worried to even notice, much less savour, positive moments.
The key is not to let coping with the challenges of infertility overshadow the joys in life.
It’s important to set time aside to engage in enjoyable, pleasant activities, despite the challenges you face.
And please always bear in mind:
‘We are troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.’
Fiona Kacz-Boulton is a Fertility Specialist
(An expert in her field since 2007) and leader in fertility yoga – inspiring people to evolve on their conscious journey to parenthood.
Founder of Awakening Fertility – Harley Street and Clapham, London.
- Fertility Coach
- Fertility Support Group Co-ordinator for Harley Street Fertility Clinic and Infertility Network UK
- Nutrition Counsellor
- Public Speaker
- QiYoga® Founder
- Fertility Yoga Teacher Trainer (RYS 200)
- Fertile Lifestyle Motivator
- Fertility Support Group Facilitator
- Fertility Practitioner Training Co-ordinator
Through her coaching programmes, Fiona helps navigate major transitions to detox your mind (and body) to help you effectively ‘think yourself fertile.’
Book your 30 minute complimentary consultation
With founder of Awakening Fertility, Fiona Kacz-Boulton here
Other Topics Worth Reading:
- Techniques how to relieve physical, mental and emotional tension when trying to conceive – Read here
- Techniques for clearing trauma, mental blocks and limiting belief systems – Read here
- Get Your Confidence Back: Regain Confidence for Pregnancy Success – Read here
- Keeping on The Positive Path, Despite Setbacks – Read here
- Meditation, Mindfulness and Relaxation for Fertility – Read here
- Am I Depressed Trying to Conceive? Take this Quiz – here
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