I hope this blog post will provide you with some information on how you can bring in some simple lifestyles changes that can help to reduce stress in your life, and also explain how special fertility yoga practices can really help too.
We all know modern life can be stressful. And life while trying to get pregnant too - well it’s like wedding planning, moving house, taking an exam and your first (last?) skydive all rolled into one wild roller coaster of an experience. Staying grounded and calm with all this going on is really truly not easy, at all.
But eliminating unnecessary stress is very important when trying to conceive, as studies show women with high stress levels often have a harder time getting pregnant), your hormone system is controlled by the same region of your brain that regulates stress and fear. But of course this is way harder said than done. Someone telling you 'don't stress' when you are stressed is beyond unhelpful. But by paying attention to major stresses in your life, and making positive changes when you can, it can help you to feel a little less frazzled. Taking some out of your hectic schedule, to slow down and reconnect with both your body and your mind can really help. (Of course stress is not the only or most important factor involved in your ability to get pregnant. There can be distinct medical factors at play. But in all situations reducing stress helps us to feel better and cope better with whatever life throws at us)
Here are some tips to reduce stress, taken from my fertility yoga workshop:
- take a 5 minutes breathing break. Stop what you are doing, sit or lie down and place your hands on your tummy. Take some slow, deep easy breaths and really connect your mind to the breath, feel the movement of the breath into and out of your hands on your body. If the mind wanders off (erm, it very probably will, many times), just bring it back to the breathing sensations. Do this every day, it really works.
- take some time out each week to do something you really enjoy. Anything YOU love, it could be meeting a friend, drawing or doodling, walking in nature, swimming, a yoga class, a lovely lunch out or a trip to a gallery or the seaside.
- move a little (or alot). Walk, run, dance or do some yoga. Get the natural endorphins flowing, feel the energy in your body, smile and feel good in your amazing body.
- try to reduce any stressors. It could be not hanging out with people who don't make you feel great and drain you, trying to improve a work situation with better support or different hours, or talking to someone about your feelings with someone (a friend or a trained counsellor) .
- repeat some positive affirmations. Turning negative thoughts around and having some positivity in your mind can be really beneficial. Phrases such as "I take good care of myself", "I let go of doubt, fear and guilt", "I am loved and supported". Finding the affirmation that works for you is important. We work on this in the fertility yoga workshop and course.
Small things can make a big difference. So really trying to schedule some feel-good practices into your week will really help to reduce feelings of stress. It is so important to have that little bit of me-time, that time for self-care to look after yourself.
In my up coming Fertility Yoga workshop we look at stress, it's causes and, and how to deal with them. We also work on specific yoga practices that can help you relax and release tension, build confidence and connect with your body through breathing techniques and visualisations, yoga sequences that can increase blood flow to the pelvic organs, and restorative yoga postures to help you let go. We'll also discuss lifestyle changes, nutrition and other complimentary therapies too.
Fertility Yoga Workshop - Saturday 30th September 1-4pm at Stables Yoga Centre in York.