Be honest with yourself about your stress
I have some real concerns that we have become almost immune to stress in our lives and that it has become a badge of honour.
Some stress is actually important to your growth and survival but we are supposed to experience a stressful event and then recover from it. When we are experiencing stress repeatedly that becomes chronic stress. Chronic stress is not good for your body long term.
In clinic when I talk about stress in relation to fertility, I talk about viewing your body’s reaction to stress from an evolutionary point of view.
If you have chronic stress in your life, then your body thinks that its constantly in danger. Whether the stress comes from work deadlines and overload, money concerns, family concerns, busy schedules or lack of sleep, your body will react in a similar fashion to if you are running or hiding from something life threatening like a sabre tooth tiger or a bear.
Your body is innately intelligent and pregnancy is a huge health undertaking for both you and your baby. Why would your body allow you to bring a helpless baby into your tribe if you are currently in danger and fighting for your own survival at the time?
Science supports this too when we look at the biochemistry of how “stress” hormones impact fertility hormones. Many of the building blocks of fertility hormones are redirected to create the “stress” hormones.
What does this mean for you?
In short, either change the stress coming into your life or change your reaction to it.
Sounds blunt but there really is no gentle way to say it. It becomes a question of priorities and choices.
Do the basics first - get good food as discussed above and get a reasonable amount of sleep. Try not to schedule five million things in one day. Do you really need to do them all? Look at breathing strategies across the course of the day to help modulate your nervous system.
Beyond that, there are a bunch of other things to try and you can engage the help of any number of professionals. Here are some thoughts to start;
o Yoga classes
o Acupuncture (side benefit of also helping hormone balance and improve fertility, yay)
o Counselling and hypnotherapy
o Cranial sacral therapy
o Painting, drawing, colouring in
o Sensory deprivation tanks (“floats”)
o Time in nature / walking in nature
o Exercise (but be mindful of not overdoing it as exercise itself can be considered a stressor)
The Book of Face, The Gram and information overload in general.
Another stressor in our lives is what I like to call “comparititis” and “informationitis”.
Comparititis is the stress of comparing ourselves to others and feeling less worthy. You often get it when you are looking at reels of other people’s lives on social media. Even though we know its not always an accurate reflection, it still elicits a reaction.
Informationitis is the stress and fear we feel when being bombarded with a lot of information. (hmmmmmm…. Sound familiar?).
To put the amount of information we receive every day into perspective, reading the newspaper from cover to cover exposes us to more information than a person from 1800s would have been exposed to in their entire life.
I’m not saying you have to go off the grid and cut yourself off from technology (although that does sound appealing to me at the moment). What I am saying is that a little technology break, detox or limitation would do most people the world of good from a stress perspective.
I also acknowledge that trying to make a baby can be a stressor in itself. It can cause stress to focus so heavily with a single mind on one outcome. I try to remind my clients to plan and experience some fun along the way whether they are choosing to have a baby with a partner or by themselves.
Generally, conception is a result of an act of care and happiness. We know that when we experience joy and happiness our neurochemistry changes. I am a great believer that your body responds positively to that happiness neurochemistry whether you are conceiving naturally or through artificial technology. Its kinda the opposite of what happens in chronic stress.
Written by Wendy Burke