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Articles    H3'ed 2/12/10

The Right to Expect?

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Experts in the field of fertility tend to agree that the more relaxed the individual, the greater the chances of conception. Relaxation techniques may include yoga and yogic breathing, tai chi or chi gong, aromatherapy, therapeutic massage such as Reiki, meditation and hypnosis.

For most of us, stress results when the world isn't doing what we want it to do. As a result, the environment makes a demand upon our systems. It could be by scaring us, physically hurting or exhausting us, frustrating us, angering us, or even giving us too much of a good time. Stress is unavoidable. It's a byproduct of breathing, loving, walking, feeling, working, not working.

While pre-surgical anxiety improves recovery rate and small, temporary doses of fear can increase killer cell activity and boost our immune systems, too much generates the sort of imbalance that can prevent conception.

Hans Selye, M.D., who pioneered the concept of stress, also broached the concept of "strain." The notion is not new to Eastern mystics: circumstances may be chaotic, but we may remain calm. Stress is only partially the result of external forces. Much, it has been contended, is our response to those forces. When we are crawling in traffic with a mile left to go until the toll booths, do we rant, rave, pound on the steering wheel? Or, do we perhaps, notice the wildflowers we never saw before because we were moving too quickly?

A wonderful story told by the Sufis: On a dusty road lined with enormous, gnarled olive trees, a young man came upon a strange sight. An old man in robes sat cross-legged under one of the trees, meditating calmly. Right next to him was a whirling Dervish, spinning ecstatically, clucking, singing, trilling at the top of his lungs. The young man watched until, overcome with curiosity, he kneeled down next to the old man and asked, "How do you do it?" The old man looked at him. "How do you sit here and meditate so calmly while he's making suck a racket?" The old man smiled, "I let him spin."

While we may not be able to avoid stress, we most certainly can avoid strain by focusing on ourselves and our own responses, rather than trying (often in vain) to get a hold of circumstances beyond our control.

Express the FullRange of Emotions

Study after study has clearly indicated the negative impact of suppressing emotions. The quest for a pregnancy is rife with all sorts of emotions"”anger, sadness, fatigue, fear, excitement, hope, discomfort, love, pain, envy, frustration, joy.

Many women mistakenly believe that they need to always be "nice," especially if they're trying to become mothers. It would be more accurate if they were able to appropriately express all their emotions, even the ones they feel are "unbecoming." What is suppressed festers.

Whether you find a support group, a religious community, a circle of friends, or a therapeutic relationship, the most important thing you can do is have someone you trust and that you can safely talk to about all your feelings.

Some pregnancies I've seen in my practice were initially blocked by unresolved trauma and/or interpersonal issues around a parent or a spouse. When those issues have been resolved, the women became pregnant.

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Judith Acosta, LISW, CHT is a licensed psychotherapist and clinical homeopath in private practice in Placitas and Albuquerque. Her areas of specialization include the treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma. She has appeared on both television (more...)
 
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