Peanut butter and jelly. Lennon and McCartney. Gratitude and infertility. Wait, what? No matter how sunny your disposition, it’s tough to feel grateful or positive when you’re overwhelmed by the stress and struggle of infertility. Research, however, shows that integrating gratitude into your daily routine can result in a host of life-altering benefits.
Mark Severino, MD at SIRM Las Vegas shares how a gratitude practice can help you navigate the ups and downs of infertility.
Is your glass half empty?
When you’re in the throes of doctor appointments, treatment plans and uncertainty, it can be hard to find the positive in life. In the interest of survival, human beings are actually hard wired to be aware of what could go wrong. Granted, fear of being eaten by a saber tooth tiger is no longer part of our reality, but that ancient fight or flight response remains. SIRM Las Vegas recommends practicing gratitude to mitigate those negative feelings and increase your overall sense of well being.
What are the benefits of practicing gratitude?
Practicing gratitude is a way to experience joy even in the midst of suffering. Appreciating what you do have won’t eliminate the pain of what you don’t, but it will help you feel more joyful. And since emotions can affect our health, making a conscious effort to steer your feelings in a positive direction can be extremely beneficial to your overall wellness and your infertility. Here are just a few benefits of being thankful:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved immune system
- Better sleep
- More positive emotions and happiness
- Increased optimism
- Less loneliness and isolation
- Better connection with others
- Stronger relationships
- Greater chance of meeting your goals
What is a gratitude practice?
There is no “right” way to practice gratitude; there are a number of different approaches you can take. The goal is to be more mindful and aware of what we do have, and to, in turn, spread kindness to others. Mark, Severino, MD suggests trying some of the methods below to see what works best for you.
- Write in a gratitude journal daily
- Breathe mindfully
- Practice meditation and/or yoga
- Sincerely compliment friends and strangers
- Express thanks
- Recognize when you’re thinking negatively and try to turn it into a positive
Some people enjoy the ritual of practicing gratitude at the same time every day. Others approach it more loosely. For most, it doesn’t come naturally so it truly is something that requires practice. The key is to recognize something for which you’re grateful, acknowledge it and then appreciate it.
For more information on how your mindset can impact your health and your fertility treatment plan, contact SIRM Las Vegas at 702-892-9696.