Many of us use coping mechanisms to deal with emotional pain. It is likely these will be automatic and unfortunately doing this could be causing you more harm and affecting your fertility. Because all emotions need to be heard for them to carry out their true role. By using coping mechanisms, we are likely to be squashing down these emotions, where they become stuck.
It is when these coping mechanisms become your only means of dealing with difficult aspects of life that they become problematic. There are 3 commonly used coping mechanisms often used by those experiencing a difficult fertility journey:
- Stay busy – Someone who does everything they can to distract their mind from painful feelings by filling it up with something else. Binge watching Netflix, working extra hours, taking on new projects.
- Self-sabotage – Finding temporary release from emotional pain by turning to things such as food or alcohol. These things may otherwise go against ideas about a healthy mind and body. This approach often results in more difficult feelings such as guilt or shame, therefor more pain and more self-sabotage.
- Shut down – The feeling of being unable to get out of bed or take care of themselves, perhaps through apparent exhaustion. Reaching this point may also cause a numb feeling.
Listening to the true message
There is a way to break this unhelpful, habitual cycle which I want to share with you now. It comes from gaining a better understanding of what your emotions are trying to tell you. Obviously, you don’t need any help working this out when you feel happy, because that means things are okay. But it’s those difficult ones you may be trying to suppress or hide from we need to look at.
Step one is to recognise which of these (or other) coping mechanisms you are using. Are there times when difficult emotions come up so you distract yourself in some way rather than acknowledging those feelings?
Next, identify when and how often you are using coping mechanisms.
It’s important to recognise here that your emotions want to help you. Even the difficult ones, they are trying to guide you. So, there is no need to add to your pain and suffering by feeling bad about having those feelings. I don’t have the opportunity to go through all the different emotions here, however, I want to use sadness as an example.
The true message of sadness
At some point along your fertility journey you are likely to have felt sadness. But what is sadness trying to tell you? If sadness could talk it would say “I need time to heal”.
It is hurtful and upsetting that you have love to give a child and it has not happened for you yet. That needs to be acknowledged. You have the right to feel sad. And on those days when you don’t feel able to attend that baby shower or go to that family gathering or whatever it might be, feel comfortable to say “no”.
Sadness wants you to take time out for yourself. To allow yourself to rest and sit with your feelings. Even crying is useful. Tears release hormones which help ease emotional pain and help us to heal.
The Freedom Fertility Formula aims to help you regain emotional control of your fertility journey. One of the most important ways we do this is by improving understanding about the true messages of our emotions. Because all emotions are here to help and guide us. Knowing this means there is no need to fear any emotions. Understanding their true meaning will enable you to respond to your emotions in a useful way. Rather than resorting to the unhelpful coping mechanisms you had been using previously.