Change the way you think about yourself, your body and your fertility
Words have power.
“Why is my body always letting me down?"
“I am never going to be a mother!”
“I feel like a failure!”
We would never dream of encouraging a child or a friend to think negative statements such as ‘I am no good’ or ‘I don’t deserve good things’, but we are often guilty of repeating the same negative talk to ourselves on a daily basis, often for many, many years.
Over time, these words can have a negative impact on our body, our minds and our actions. Studies have shown a direct correlation between what we think of ourselves and our body’s reaction – The mind/body connection can be essential to our mental health and as our sub-conscious mind cannot tell the difference between a truth and non-truth, the repeating of a negative statement can alter our mindset in a detrimental way This is why it is imperitive that we give our minds something positive to hold on to.
Our mental state during conception is often overlooked. After all, our body is meant to do whatever it was built for right?
Well yes, to an extent, but planning for a family and facing all its trials and tribulations can present with its own challenges with maintaining a sense of perspective and confidence.
Affirmations could be just one tool to help to challenge those thoughts and create a more peaceful and enjoyable experience along the fertility journey. They remind us who we are, our values and worth.
What are Affirmations and how do they Work?
Affirming and reinforcing positive thoughts and beliefs can have a positive effect on our mind, body, hormones and reproductive system as a whole.
Affirmations are short, positive statements, which, if said on a regular basis, will help to raise our inner vibration.. Anything we say to ourselves or out-loud, becomes an affirmation. We are affirming a statement about ourselves.
Repeating a positive affirmation helps to challenge self-sabotaging, negative thoughts that we may have about becoming a parent. The idea is to put ourselves into the position with which we already desire, so that so our sub-conscious mind starts to believe them. From this point, our perspective will change and the outlook becomes one, which is far more reachable.
Positive affirmations can also help to boost our self-esteem and promote inner confidence. In the case of fertility; to believe in what our body and mind are capable of achieving.
You may not believe the statement at first - it may be difficult to say in moments of stress and anxiety, but the more you say them, the more your brain will believe it to be true – this will manifest into real life.
The positive affirmatins are best said several times a day for them to be really powerful Additionally, when you have a negative, unhelpful thought, it is a good idea to challenge the statement and replace it with a positive one. It is a matter of habit – the more you do this, the easier it will become.
They can also combat those feelings we may all feel when dealing with conception; frustration, anger, upset, blame. The emotions are endless,
Affirmations are a great way to boost our self-esteem, motivate ourselves into action and just feel good about the fertility journey ahead of us. They help us to remember the reason for wanting to start a family and enjoy all aspects of the experience.
I am not saying that it is going to be easy. At first, the words may come out of your mouth, but you may not feel it. A bit like a sulky teen who is forced to say sorry after a misdemeanour. I started off feeling a little silly, especially saying it out loud, but it soon becomes easier and habitual, like brushing your teeth! In fact, why not say them as you brush, or shower! Words are transportable, you can say them wherever it takes your fancy.
As I mentioned, using affirmations a few times a day is ideal. There will also be times when we may need an extra boost of confidence, such as at the start of an IVF procedure, or taking fertility medications when you feel a little apprehensive. The addition of visualization techniques will come in handy at this point. Visualising a smooth-running IVF cycle or a successful round of Clomid can work wonders for your peace of mind and confidence. Similarly, alongside meditation, you will feel the benefits in mind, body and spirit.
See some visualization and meditation techniques here.
*‘There is MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016). If you want to be super specific, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex—involved in positive valuation and self-related information processing—becomes more active when we consider our personal values (Falk et al., 2015; Cascio et al., 2016).
*Courtesy of positivepsychology.com
How long do Affirmations take to work?
It takes a bit of practice. Keep at it - It will get easier. As a general rule of thumb, it takes around 30 days to create a habit and start to see any benefits, but everyone is different and so perseverance is key.
Of course, affirmations are not for everyone. You may get to 30 days of doing it and think ‘ nah, it’s not for me’, which it’s fine. There are many other ways of finding that peace of mind and tranquility. Meditation and Yoga come to mind.
It is worth giving it a go. At the very least, try and stop the negative self-talk in its tracks.
Talk to yourself as you would a friend – kind, helpful and accepting.
Affirmations are a good way of coming back to the present.
As we know, predicting the future is not possible. We can only enjoy the present moment. The Covid pandemic has taught us all that we don’t really know what is around the corner and accepting ourselves and gratitude for what we have is essential. We can however, place ourselves in the best, possible position in order to prepare for a future with children in it.
I accept myself as I am today
How to get Started
Always personalise your affirmation. You cannot say affirmations for other people. Instead, encourage them to write or source their own. Beginning with the words ‘I am’ gives your affirmation more gravitas. Your subconscious mind sees it as a command that must be followed.
Make it meaningful to you. Think carefully about what it is in your life that you desire and create an affirmation that resonates with you. The more you believe in it, the more chance of the affirmation manifesting.
Always use present tense. For true empowerement, we want our subconcous to believe we are already in the position which we desire.
Keep it positive. Always affirm what you want in your life, not what you don’t want. Ensuring your subconscious mind can be clear about what it is you are manifesting.
Be succinct, and keep it brief. Short and snappy will ensure that you can remember it, say it frequently and connect with the words on a deeper level.
Take Action! Now that you are affirming positively, it is time to take action towards your goal. Depending on the stage of fertility you are at,this could be, better nutrition, arranging to see a fertility specialist, starting some complimentary therapies or just relaxing into the experience and ‘going with the flow’. Whatever it is, try and set yourself some action points to move forward. Believe and live what you are affirming to yourself.
TIPS FOR USING AFFIRMATIONS
Using affirmations can be a positive way of welcoming a baby into your life.
Ø Say them upon waking and last thing at night.
Ø Saying the affirmation out loud is best but also quietly to yourself can be effective.
Ø Write them down on a mirror or Calendar to remind you to say them.
Ø Say them several times throughout the day
Ø Pick one to say quietly during a yoga or meditation practice.
Ø Consider making your own – always use an active term, i.e. I am.
Ø Affirmations can be very effective when pregnant to alleviate any fears of miscarriage or loss. They can help the body to relax and promote a connection / bond with your unborn baby.
Ø Also great for when going through IVF or other procedure.
Ø Live it and feel it!
Affirmations are a great motivator and stress-buster. They can help to calm our nerves, spur us into positive action and increase our chances of success.
Stating a positive statement is just the beginning, we will have to take direct action alongside this. Whether it is having the confidence to embark on another round of IVF or switching up our lifestyle or diet, it can be the catalyst for change and movement in the right direction.
Good Luck and let me know below how affirmations have helped you or if you have made some of your own.