|Although doctors have yet to gather enough data to say with complete certainty that there is a definite link between stress and infertility, many doctors have suggested that stress may play a role in up to 30% of all infertility problems.
Hypothetically speaking, the idea that stress is a legitimate cause of fertility problems isn’t overly surprising. After all, many clinical studies and trials have concluded that stress plays a major role in many other health issues. Recent studies have actually concluded that reducing stress can enhance immunity.
It is in everyone’s best interest to keep a close tab on his or her stress levels to reduce the damaging effects that stress can have on the mind and body. What is a particularly nasty trigger for stress? Trying to conceive. And getting even more stressed about not getting pregnant will just reduce your chances even further, as doctors have suggested.
So what can be done? To effectively combat stress there are a number of techniques that can be used to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. Some of these techniques include deep breathing, meditation, visualization yoga and rhythmic exercise.
1) Deep Breathing Meditation
Deep breathing as a means to meditate is a powerful, yet simple way to relax and keep tabs on your stress levels. Your body needs oxygen to live, and the more you take in the less anxious, tense and short of breath you will feel. Here’s a simple yet effective technique for deep breathing:
- Sit somewhere comfortable and make sure your back remains straight.
2) Muscle Relaxation Meditation
Progressive muscle relaxation allows you to become more in tune with your body and helps to target muscle groups that are particularly tense, thus relieving muscular tension that often occurs with heightened stress levels. Progressive muscle relaxation isn’t for everyone, especially those with a history of muscle spasms, back problems or issues associated with serious injury. So if you fit into any of those categories, make sure you consult a physician before attempting this relaxation technique:
- Dress yourself in loose clothing, remove your shoes and start with doing some deep breathing meditation as mentioned above
Here is a popular Progressive Muscle Relaxation sequence:
3) Body Scan Meditation
Body Scan Meditation is very similar to Muscle Relaxation Meditation, but instead of tensing and relaxing your muscles you are simply focusing and listening to each part of your body individually.
Use the same breathing techniques as mentioned above while lying on your back. With your eyes open or closed use the same body part sequence and simply focus on each part of your body for 2-3 minutes. Really try to concentrate on the sensations you feel within each part of your body.
4) Mindfulness Meditation
‘Mindfulness’ is mainly to do with keying into how your body feels both externally and internally. This ‘in-the-moment’ meditation technique does not focus on the past or future, only the present. By staying calm, focused and present, you can regain control of your nervous system and reduce stress.
Seek out a quiet spot – Find a secluded place to meditate. This can be in your home, garden, office or somewhere outdoors. In this place of your choosing you must be able to fully relax and be free of distractions and interruptions
Get comfy – You could lie down for this exercise, but may be prone to falling asleep, which is not the ultimate goal. The best option is to sit comfortably with your spine straight, cross-legged or in a chair.
Choose a point of focus – Your point of focus can be internal or external. You can close your eyes and focus on the repetitive action of your breathing, a specific feeling, a meaningful word or phrase that you can repeat in you head or an imaginary scene. Externally you can focus on something like a flickering candle, dripping water. Mindfulness meditation can also be applied to other activities such as eating, exercising and walking.
5) Visualization Meditation
Visualization meditation requires the use of all five senses; namely your sense of smell, sound, sight, touch and taste.
• Find a quiet, relaxing spot to sit and begin your deep breathing meditation
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Posted by The MAB Team on 5/22/2012 to Health Topics