How can we advocate and promote whole body wellness for ourselves? “Self care” can be a catch phrase these days (and can be easier said than done), but it is a valid and important factor in seeking optimal physical and mental health.
We often try to make big changes to see big results and then grow disappointed when we can’t sustain it. One helpful trick is to actually make small, manageable changes over time. Small shifts in our outlook and our reactions, especially when we are going through health-related issues causing stress and uncertainty.
The common tip we are all familiar with – physical exercise can trigger a positive response in the brain-body connection. Yes that is true, by generating physical strength we improve our well being. But, the focus is often dropped when it comes to mental/emotional wellness. These parts join the physical and soulful parts together to create stability and calm within us.
The clinical tech term? Homeostasis – The tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.
Our nervous and endocrine systems exert ultimate control over homeostasis and coordinate function of our body’s systems. Regulating body temperature, blood pressure, enzymes in cellular reactions, and all that good stuff.
Especially for women who TTC (trying to conceive) or going through IVF or other fertility treatment, it is common to feel highly emotional, reactive, and EXTRA hormonal! It makes sense when we acknowledge how the endocrine system is essential to reproduction, hormonal balance, and easily explains how the fertility process can make everything feel unstable all around.
With all of that going on inside of us, what can we do internally to help ourselves shift or stay within a positive mindset? To reframe challenges we are all facing into a more manageable space?
Here is a simple exercise that can be practiced to promote whole body wellness.
Identify and limit negative thought patterns that soak and weigh into the subconscious.
Just as we take care of our physical body, we are putting in the work to care for our inner self with a process of catch and release. This requires practice in self-awareness because it often occurs in a split second during the busiest part of our day (and we have to be conscious about recognizing it).
Catch and release. Catch those negative thoughts swirling around and stop them as if they are intruders. Once caught, release the negative and replace it with a positive, *realistic thought.
Here’s an example. You’ve just gone through your third IVF cycle and woke up feeling really anxious. Consumed with anticipatory disappointment as you sit in the two-week wait. Your thought pattern is spinning around questions you cannot yet answer…what if this was all for nothing and it doesn’t work?
Catch the negative thought (a failed cycle, low or negative bHCG). Replace it immediately with a small, realistic action (call your closest friend, get out of the apartment/house and grab lunch, go shopping, take a walk, refocus your energy into an activity that is more productive). These minor shifts will make a big difference and they certainly can’t hurt…so why not give it a try?
Linda Scruggs BSN, RN has specialized for 15 years in fertility, reproductive medicine, and women’s health. As a nurse, patient educator, and solo mother of two children, she shares personal experience with high-risk pregnancies. Connect with Linda on Instagram at @metrointegrative and @unboxedmom where she serves as a resource to empower and educate women seeking wellness for themselves and their families.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. The information in this article is for educational purposes only.