The situation we are currently in is a cause of concern for everyone, but particularly those who have had to have their fertility treatments put on hold. If you are in this situation and found that to access the things that would normally help you cope is restricted, practicing positive thinking and mindfulness could help with managing any concerns or stress you are currently dealing with.
We caught up with one of our Fertility Counsellors, Beverley Loftus, to find out more about these techniques, and how you can practice them yourself.
With everything surrounding us focusing on coronavirus, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the developments and news, and lose focus on our own wellbeing. The goal of mindfulness is to pay attention to the present moment, and reconnect with our bodies and our minds.
A particularly important part of mindfulness is being conscious of your own thoughts, feelings and senses in the moment. This allows us to become aware of the emotions we experience, so that we can gradually learn to notice when our thoughts take over, so that we can deal with any problems productively.
To practice mindfulness, it can help to just set aside a little time of your day to focus on observing the present moment. There are a number of apps and videos that provide guided sessions, or you can just have a go at sitting in a quiet space and paying attention to the here and now, gently drawing your mind back should it wander.
Many people start to practice mindfulness to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but there are actually a number of other benefits associated with these techniques too. These include:
- Improved memory and focus
- Increased ability to adapt to stressful situations
- Greater satisfaction with relationships
- Better ability to manage your own emotions
At times, it may seem difficult to try positive thinking, depending on your own personal situation. Now in particular, with no clear end in sight, it can feel easy to slip into a pattern of negative thinking.
However, it’s often very helpful for your mental wellbeing to re-frame a negative situation by focusing on the positives. These could be for example, some reasons for which you are grateful.
Perhaps you may want to consider something good that happened to you in the week, or a gesture from a loved one that helped to cheer you up. Similarly, enjoying the things you love about your home, or reminiscing fond memories, can help with positive thinking.
However you choose to help manage your concerns, or any stress and anxiety you are facing, acting proactively to try to help yourself is the best step you can take. There are a number of free resources out there which are all useful for guiding you through difficult times, but it’s also important to seek help from others – whether this be a friend, family member or a qualified counsellor.
We’re offering our patients help with virtual counsellors via phone or video calls, so if you’re in need of emotional support whilst clinics are closed due to current guidelines, please contact your clinic to arrange this.