I’ve called upon some powerful strategies to help my mindset throughout the twenty months (and counting) of trying to conceive. I’m hoping these tools may help others to navigate the turbulence of a situation that has the potential to be all-consuming and, for some, totally devastating.
I first learnt about mindfulness a few years ago whilst studying to become a life coach and since then I’ve been practising it in my daily life, which has made a huge difference to my overall wellbeing.
In a nutshell, mindfulness is about being present, rather than being stuck in worries about the past or anxieties about the future.
I’ve had months throughout this ‘journey’ where I’ve really not been present at all. Living constantly in my own head thinking about how many days past ovulation I was, how soon could I test etc. It was exhausting.
I knew I had to take a mindful approach if I was to stand any chance of going through all this without sending myself into a constant state of worry. When I notice my thoughts getting stuck on a pregnancy-related loop I do my best to shift my focus back to the here and now.
Making a conscious effort to notice the beauty in everyday things, being really present with your nearest and dearest, or doing something you love, are all ways to hook yourself into the here and now. Do you ever find yourself out with friends, for example, but your mind is somewhere else. Start to notice this happening and bring yourself back.
Meditation and mantras
I meditate each morning, normally just for ten minutes, and taking that time to be truly present makes a huge difference to my mental clarity throughout the day.
To be clear, mindfulness and meditation are not about ‘blocking out’ your thoughts. Trying to conceive brings up a whole range of emotions and it’s important to allow yourself to experience these. Acknowledge the thoughts and try to let them pass without judgment. This is something that takes some practice but really does help. You can download free fertility meditations when you join the Your Fertility Toolbox and you can also take the mini-course ‘Your Fertility Meditations’ for just $27.
Something else that’s worked for me is coming up with a little mantra to say over and over whilst meditating, or simply when your internal chatter gets too overwhelming. Your mantra has to work for you. I have one at the moment that is based on inviting peace and balance into my life and trusting my body to do its thing. Another one that works for me is “I am exactly where I need to be right now.”
Being grateful for life as it is right now
Practising gratitude is one of the key ways I dig myself out of the doom and gloom when the going gets tough. Not only does being grateful encourage us to focus on the good things in life, it also invites more positivity into our lives. That’s what I have found at least.
Focusing energy into really thinking, or writing down, what you’re grateful for will stir up warm, fuzzy feelings and it’s a great way to shift your mood if you’re feeling a bit low. What’s not to like about that?
It’s so easy to give huge amounts of focus to what we don’t have. We don’t have a little bundle of joy and, of course, it is hard not to focus on that hole in our lives. That’s why I make the conscious effort to really focus on what is good in my life and throw tonnes of energy into those things. Making plans, having date nights, and being grateful for what we have right here and now is vitally important, now more than ever.
Visualise, visualise, visualise
When I’ve asked my husband if he imagines himself as a dad he told me he doesn’t let himself in case it never happens. Whilst I totally understand his logic behind this it made me quite sad.
I regularly imagine getting the positive on the pregnancy test, being pregnant, giving birth, holding my baby. Much like practising gratitude, visualising the outcome we would like injects positive energy into our minds and surely that has to be a good thing.
Our imaginations can be so vivid and we can easily let ourselves get carried away imagining the worst-case scenario. Maybe your mind is running wild with thoughts about why you’re not getting pregnant or ‘what if’ you never have a family. This type of thinking is totally natural. Believe me, I’ve been there and had to drag myself out of those thought patterns. By replacing those negative thoughts with images of the amazing outcome I dream of helps me stay focused, hopeful and positive.
My biggest tip with visualisation is to get really specific and allow yourself to really feel what it will be like to experience these things. I imagine myself walking around my home with a big belly full of baby. I visualise what it feels like to have the baby move inside me, what will he/she feel like? Smell like?
I’ve used visualisation to create outcomes for myself before and without going too ‘woo woo’ on you I have found it to really work in the sense that things I’ve visualised have materialised with crazy accuracy.
Surrendering to the Universe may sound a bit ‘out there’ but reserve judgement and read Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, The Universe Has Your Back. I highly recommend!
Some mindset challenges I’ve struggled with in the past, even before trying to conceive, are around control and uncertainty. As humans, we like instant gratification and we want everything now.
I actually feel like the challenges of trying for a baby has come at a time when I really needed to get to grips with these mindset challenges which ultimately have held me back in the past. I try to see it all as a little assignment from the universe. It’s almost like I’m thanking my future baby for teaching me these things. I realise this may sound totally nuts to some, but thinking of it this way is a comfort to me so I’m going to embrace that.
The key to surrendering is to not get too hung up on the detail and timelines and simply trust that things, one way or another, will work out. I have never been ‘religious’ per se and, for me, that’s not what surrendering is all about. What I believe is that there is a plan for us and it will all play out when it is supposed to.
If this idea of surrendering resonates with you have a watch of this video of Gabrielle Bernstein speaking about surrendering to the Universe and her own experience of trying to conceive. I’ve watched this many times, usually when I’ve just got my period, and it’s a huge comfort.
I’ll finish by saying that none of us know when we’ll get that amazing news but don’t put life on hold whilst you wait. Life is precious and you deserve to live your best life, right now.
Life & Bridal Coach
Georgina Lucy is a Life Coach to people who have a fire in their belly and a real desire to live their very best life. Georgina’s coaching experience and passion for personal development have helped her to navigate the highs and lows of trying to conceive in such a way that gives focus to cultivating a healthy mindset throughout her fertility journey.