Everyone experiences stress at some point. Even though we are beginning to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, anxiety, and stress continue to reach an all-time high. The roller coaster ride of emotions, such as infertility, stress, depression, or anxiety well… it can sometimes feel downhearted and overwhelming.
Feeling stressed causes physical reactions. Whenever the body is stressed, it responds in three different ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally. And as we all know, our lives are filled with stress.
You can experience stress even when you go through a positive event in your life. For example, getting your dream job or purchasing a new house. Humans are designed to react to stress, regardless of whether it originated from a positive or negative situation. In fact, this is exactly the reason why our bodies lock up with a ‘fight or flight response.
The key to preventing the negative effects of chronic stress (for example, based on infertility) is learning how to manage it healthily.
This article will help you to deal with the stress of infertility, how to overcome depression or anxiety, and give you the 7-best ways to manage and reduce stress management. Let’s dive into this topic…
What Is Stress and What Is Its Impact on the Body?
By releasing adrenaline hormones the sympathetic nervous system in our body is activated when we are under stress, in response to the event. As a result of adrenaline hormone release into the bloodstream, the body’s response to a “fight or flight” reaction occurs. In response to real or perceived danger, this physiological response aids us in becoming more alert, motivated, and prepared for action.
Have you ever experienced a rapid heartbeat or breathlessness? Feeling flushed or sweaty? It is one of the body’s healthy responses to stress.
However, if stress is day and night or chronic, it can negatively affect your body. Chronic stress can make you unable to fall asleep, causing you to be restless and turn all night long. It’s happened to all of us, right? The condition can impair your eating habits, make you use more substances, and or turn you irritable.
Research has shown that long-term stress can adversely affect the immune system and increase blood pressure, headaches, and stomach upset. A chronic state of stress may also lead to depression, panic attacks, and anxiety from a psychological perspective.
The majority of fertility journeys include stress but thank god there are healthy options to cope with some of this natural response. Keep reading to find out how!
Does Stress Affect My Fertility?
There’s no doubt you have experienced stress at some point in your quest to start a family – probably an understatement. There is no need to feel sad or upset if you haven’t gotten pregnant yet, especially if you had hoped it would be easy. Furthermore, it’s normal to feel frustrated by the stress of infertility.
Fertility journeys are full of ups and downs. This is why it’s often called an emotional roller coaster ride! Again, it’s important to remember that not all stress is bad – stress is a normal part of life. However, chronic stress can be problematic.
Have you thought that being stressed might reduce your chances of becoming pregnant? The quick answer is probably…but not how you might think. Researchers have found that infertility patients have depression and anxiety rates similar to those suffering from heart diseases or cancer.
As you ride the emotional fertility roller coaster, stress may have a less direct correlation with your infertility success rate than it does with your depression or anxiety levels.
How Can I Overcome My Depression or Anxiety?
I like to think about it in terms of figuring out what you can control and letting go of what you can’t.
Stress management has been reduced, but how you react to it emotionally is in your control. Managed stress has the goal of eliciting a relaxation response in order to counteract “fight or flight.” However, it merely describes the changes in the brain that occur when the mind becomes calm.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Division of Behavioral Health conducted several studies that demonstrated the benefits of eliciting the relaxation response in the body.
In response, oxygen rates fall below resting levels, resulting in a decrease in breathing rate, heart rate, and tension in the muscles. Thus, chronic stress has adverse effects on physical and psychological health.
There are several techniques that exist. You can use it to overcome depression and anxiety, such as acupuncture, meditation, yoga, visualization, energy healing, breathing techniques, massage, progressive muscle relaxation, and prayer.
Take Time and Find the Ways That Work for You
The good news is that there are many methods for managing stress. It is just a matter of discovering which one works best for you when you are starting out. The simple solution is to reconnect with the things that worked for you in the past, such as meditation, tricking, long walks, or journaling.
Sometimes, it’s simply opening your mind to something new, such as spending time with children, gardening, or joining a support group. Alternatively, it may be a combination of both. The best way to succeed on your journey is to equip yourself with multiple resources.
Yoga classes can also help you to overcome your stress. It has been shown that they reduce anxiety and stress in fertility patients! My recommendation is to check out local yoga classes if you find movement to be a stress-reliever.
7 Ways to Manage and Reduce Stress
Aside from the suggestions given above, here are seven additional tips that are specifically tailored to patients who are suffering from stress to help them manage and reduce stress:
You should educate yourself about the normal reactions to infertility so that you will know how to deal with it. Getting support from other infertile people is a helpful way to deal with the situation. Take the time to educate yourself about your health issues and the treatment options open to you.
Discuss your feelings and needs with your partner, and allow you to cope differently. Communicate and avoid conflict when you have differences. Do not isolate yourself from family and friends. Keep in touch with them and do not isolate yourself from others. Don’t explain your situation to others without getting into detail, and tell them how they can help.
Prioritize Your Tasks
You need to pause before taking on new responsibilities, and decide if the time is right for you to add another thing to your plate at the moment. Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by requests from friends, family, and colleagues.
Identifying a Friend or Support Group Will Be Helpful to You
There is no place like a support group for vent, sharing your feelings, and listening to others who understand what you’re struggling through. Additionally, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have strong stress-related communities and can connect you with new people who understand what it’s like to cope with stress.
Reconnect With Yourself
What kind of activities do you enjoy? Which hobbies do you enjoy the most? Who is in your network of support? What has been your approach to handling stress in the past? A one-size-fits-all approach to stress doesn’t exist, but knowing yourself will help you devise a self-care plan that fits you.
Maintain Proper Health
Take care of your health by getting an annual checkup and taking care of yourself by eating healthfully, exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and giving yourself time to relax.
Take Steps to Reduce Sexual Stress
Infertile couples are very likely to experience sexual stress as a result of their infertility. This is because the majority of couples think that sexual activity is a duty or an obligation rather than something they enjoy. It is possible to deal with this in different ways. These include taking a break from thinking about having a baby, distancing work sex from fun sex, and learning how to engage in sensual contact without causing pregnancy.