Couples struggling with fertility issues have heard the saying a million times: “Relax. It’ll happen.” That may seem like a great idea, but relaxing isn’t always easy. Stress is a part of our body’s fight-or-flight mechanism. It raises adrenaline levels and increases heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. Sometimes stress can be positive. It can initiate change, help us focus on the task at hand, and in some cases save our lives. Yet, when stress builds up, it can actually keep us from concentrating, cause illness and inhibit fertility. Here are a few ideas on to how bring your stress levels down.
Know your limits…
Recognize your stressors ahead of time. Evaluate what your triggers are. Is it your boss? The traffic? Size up the situation ahead of time, and then ask yourself, or someone close to you, for fresh ideas on how to handle things. And go easy on yourself. Maybe you need to say, “No, I can’t,” or “later” more often. Sometimes events really are out of your control, and you need to quit blaming yourself.
Take a deep breath…
Breathing may not seem like a big deal, but taking a deep breath or two adds oxygen to your system, which quickly helps you relax. Counting to ten or stretching while you do it allows you to take a moment to step back, and work rationally through a stressful situation.
Fake it ‘til you make it….
Smile. After all, your body and mind communicate. So, while your mind can tell your body what to do, your body can also signal your mind how to feel. So let the muscles in your face tell your mind, “It’s all good!”
Walk it off….
There’s no disputing the relaxing benefits of exercise. It releases endorphins (“happy” chemicals in the brain). Participating in sports gets you out of the house or office, lets you socialize, and lets you focus on your workout instead of your problems. Even a short walk can do wonders. If you’re at work, stroll to the bathroom or get a drink of water. When you come back to the problem, chances are it won’t seem nearly as insurmountable.
Sleep On It….
We live in a society that encourages us to deal with everything right away. But sometimes it’s good to just put off something until later. It’s not a crime, and sometimes it can lead to a clearer perspective and better results. Plus, lack of rest can make you scatterbrained and grouchy, which can lead to stress. Get a good night’s rest. Take a nap. Sometimes you can see things clearer after a little shut eye.
Yes, bad things can happen to good people. Life can be unfair. However, counting your blessings can put life’s challenges into perspective. Remember, every cloud has a silver lining. What you struggle over today may turn out to be a blessing in disguise later.
Try journaling. Call a friend. Take a warm bath, dim the lights, read a book, listen to your favorite tunes, get a massage. Play a game on your computer or phone. Focus on something completely different. Find what works for you.
Allow yourself to get help if you need it….
You are one person. You can’t do it all alone. So whether it’s asking to clean the house or asking for advice at work, allow yourself ask for help from your spouse or colleague. It will not only help you feel better, but overall, people like to help. It brings meaning to their lives to help you! And never be afraid to ask for professional help. Seeing a counselor can bring a fresh, intelligent perspective that can be life altering.