Archive for the ‘Mindfulness’ Category

Before we answer that question, let’s say a word about stress.

It’s not a surprise to you and me that you may be more stressed out than other people. It’s incredibly stressful to feel like you’re some kind of freak, your body is out of control, or that you can’t have a baby.

It’s also no secret that you are more likely to be depressed, feel anxious and have low self-esteem.

But it may surprise you that there appears to be a link between stress, your brain, and problems such as depression and low self-esteem.

It’s important to note that women with infertility are inclined to produce more stress hormones (like cortisol) than other women do in a given situation.

Over-production of stress hormones like cortisol is not good. For example, too much cortisol increases abdominal fat.

And, according to the Montreal Neurological Institute, it is associated with shrinkage of a section of the brain called the hippocampus. Shrinkage of the hippocampus has been associated with Alzheimer’s as well as reduced self-esteem and feelings of self-control.

Unresolved chronic stress can’t be ignored, simply because it worsens the psychological and physical aspects of infertility.

According to research at UCLA, meditation creates stronger connections between regions of the brain. It also appears to slow down shrinkage of the brain as people get older.

It could be that meditation reduces stress and thus protects your brain.

Find a meditation book or program that appeals to you and give it a try! Start with only 5 minutes a day and don’t worry that your brain what shut up…that’s what’s supposed to happen!


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So, you may be asking, what does mindfulness got to do with it and how is it supposed to help my situation?  Great question and this just dawned on me the other day while I gave a mind and body talk for Resolve.

Here’s some definitions of mindfulness:

Mindfulness, a deceptively simple way of relating to experience, has long been used to lessen the sting of life’s difficulties, especially those that are seemingly self-imposed. “a moment-by-moment awareness” Mindfulness lies at the heart of Buddhist psychology. Mindfulness is a skill that allows us to be less reactive to what is happening in the moment. It is a way of relating to ALL experience-positive, negative, and neutral-so that our overall level of suffering is reduced and our sense of well-being increases.
So whether you are going through this journey or not Mindfulness is a great tool to deal with suffering and pain in all areas of life. It just so happens that there has been a lot of research done on what helps women and couples go through this infertility journey and Mindfulness is one technique or practice that is getting a lot of attention.
I have to admit I wasn’t very mindful prior to my infertility journey, but now I embrace the moments I have and it has helped me tremendously in dealing with all challenges in life.  Usually whatever is happening NOW is ok and we can handle. So if you can get out of your head chatter, out of the what if’s and the should of, would of, and could of…then you will be better off.  And in the end isn’t happiness what we are all looking for?
What are examples of Mindlessness?

-rushing through activies without being attentive to them
-breaking or spilling things because of inattention
-failing to notice subtle feelings of physical tension or discomfort
-forgetting a person’s name as soon as we have heard it
-being preoccupied with the furture or past
-snacking without being aware of eating
The more we stray from the present the more we suffer. Mindfulness can help us to step out of our conditioning and see things freshly- to see the rose it is. This is why most professionally lead infertility support groups incorporate Mindfulness practices into their groups.
We are re-starting our group here in the next 2 weeks, but new members are always welcome to come along during the ongoing group to get started.  We don’t want you to have to wait to get support.

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