For those of us who struggle to conceive, we’ve heard the advice to “just relax” or “go on a vacation.” As if we can control our chances of conceiving by relaxing “harder”.
Well, it turns out it’s true. Struggling to conceive is a traumatic experience. That’s why 50% of women said that infertility was one of the most upsetting experiences in their life. Further evidence of the impact of stress was recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Research by Professor Greg Anderson of the Centre for Neuroendocrinology confirmed that a population of nerve cells near the base of the brain – the RFRP neurons – become active in stressful situations and then suppress the reproductive system.
You’re probably thinking: “Great, now I feel extra pressure that this is somehow my fault?”
And now the stress about how stressed you are is adding to the problem.
As a mindset expert and someone who has walked this path, I can tell you that there is an answer that goes beyond, “just relax” and that the source of stress may not be so obvious.
The Secret Life of Stress
The secret is your stress is not actually coming from your environment or even what’s happening to you. It comes from your thoughts. Your thoughts, feelings, and negative emotions at each step of the journey are the cause of stress. Not infertility itself. Take a moment to let that sink in.
Through our research, we know the thought processes people experience when they’re trying to conceive, and it doesn’t go as planned. It’s essential to reshape or reframe these thoughts, so the natural result is you become less stressed. It is a beautiful thing really.
One perfect example of a stressful thought: “What is wrong with me?” This thought seems innocent enough, but it creates an actual autonomic response in the brain called instinctive elaboration. It’s a chain reaction that happens when we ask a question that leads to feelings, actions, and results that perpetuate more stress. And this all stemmed from that little question that we so innocently asked. Getting to the root of these thoughts is the answer to lowering stress levels. But it takes being proactive and not dismissing the emotional cues.
Mindset is Everything.
What we have the unique ability as humans to do, is having the awareness of what’s going on in our own minds. We can think about our thinking! Having this ability is incredible, but we need to be aware of this power and use it to our advantage, by deliberately choosing our thoughts.
When people begin this journey, they are very much in a victim state of mind. In this mode, people tend to think: “This is happening to me.” Part of changing your mindset is the ability to reshape your thinking and realize that you are the architect of your perceptions – you have the power to shape and interact with your reality in the healthiest ways possible for your emotional health. This is an opportunity to change your mindset in a way that shifts your entire fertility experience and maybe even your life.
Through a multi-year, multi-age study of couples who overcame infertility, we found that 9 tipping points or shifts were universally shared among the participants. To say we know what you are experiencing is an understatement.
This is why we founded Organic Conceptions. We work to help people understand that yes, stress is a factor, but where it’s coming from and what to do about it, isn’t always so obvious. Our evidence-based approach helps people realize their greatest conception potential by getting to the source of negative thoughts, self-defeating behaviors, and unproductive emotions that erode their quality of life and affect their overall reproductive experience.
A simple starting point to check in with your emotions and stress is to take our assessments located at https://www.organic-conceptions.com/oc21-pearl. Upon completing the assessment, you will receive a free custom report.
Erin Sherman is the founder and CO-CEO of Organic Conceptions. Their evidence-based approach helps people realize their greatest conception potential by getting to the source of negative thoughts, self-defeating behaviors, and unproductive emotions that erode their quality of life and affect their overall reproductive experience.