After 10+ years of supporting women and families on their fertility journeys, I’ve noticed that anxiety due to infertility is the number one emotion that comes up. I’m going introduce two ways that you can instantly calm anxiety so that you are empowered to make the switch from anxious to calm anytime.
The first technique to calm infertility anxiety is a mindset shift: stop comparing somebody else’s front stage to your back stage. This is so important, especially on social media where people tend to post their highlight reels.
It’s easy to get tripped up when we’re feeling vulnerable and start comparing our reality against somebody else’s highlight reel. It’s just not healthy or productive, and you’re automatically setting yourself up to put yourself in a space of lack instead of abundance. So do yourself a favor and stop comparing.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
The second technique: I’m going to teach you to help deal with anxiety due to infertility, is called alternate nostril breathing. This is a yoga technique that allows you to quickly switch gears from a heightened state where the sympathetic nervous system is dominant to the parasympathetic system which is responsible for rest, digestion and reproduction. It doesn’t require a yoga mat or anything else; just the ability to sit comfortably.
- Begin by grounding yourself. Close your eyes, take a few normal breaths. Relax your shoulders, jaw and space around your eyes. Yawning can help to release tension in the face. Let go of the outside world and start drawing your awareness inward. Feel your breath moving through your body, placing a hand on your lower belly to make sure you’re using your whole torso to breathe.
- As you inhale your lower abdomen will gently press into your hand and as you exhale your lower abdomen will draw away. It’s a very subtle action so don’t force it. Gently allow and surrender so that you’re now breathing with your whole body. Simply by breathing into the lower part of your body you’ve already unlocked all kinds of energy and potential to your reproductive organs.
- Let your body feel heavy and grounded so that you can start listening to your inner voice and rooting into that space of calm. There’s no pushing or pulling; just being and in that space of being is freedom.
- Now before you begin the alternate nostril breathing technique, set an intention. This may be something that you need to cultivate in your life and can be as simple as an “I am ___” statement, such as I am courageous or maybe, I am strong.
- For alternate nostril breathing you will be using your thumb and either ring or pinky finger of the same hand to close off one side of your nose and then the other side of your nose as you breathe. Start by pressing your thumb into your septum to close off one side of your nose. Inhale through the open side.
- Now take your ring/pinky finger and press into your septum on the other side while releasing your thumb. Exhale through the open side of your nose and then inhale again. Press the thumb in and release your finger, and exhale through the other side followed by another inhale. Continue to go back and forth in this way at your own pace. Keep your eyes soft, your jaw soft, and your body heavy.
- After at least three more rounds of breath, release your hand and notice what has shifted for you. How do you feel now? When you are ready, open your eyes.
These two techniques are easily accessible and work quickly to release you from an anxious state due to infertility. You don’t need a yoga mat and you don’t need anything else except to be able to sit and close your eyes. I hope that these practices serve you.