We all struggle with worry in some way or another – whether about a big work project or the daily weight of depression. Regardless of the level of stress and strain on our mental health, what are some ways we can be proactive to help improve how we feel on a day-to-day basis? Some of these steps you can get up and do right now, while others will help to re-train your brain over a period of time. Since facing infertility can have a negative effect on your mental health, it’s a good idea to take advantage of some of these, if you can!
Get outside – studies show that lengthy exposure to the outdoors decreases our brain activity focusing on negative thoughts. It’s better in nature than in a busy downtown area, as green space can improve our self-esteem and decrease distractions.
Look for meaning – Studies show that when we help others, pursue life goals, or even act generously toward a friend or loved one, we feel much happier with life. Interestingly, simply pursuing activities for pleasure doesn’t have the same effect.
Worry if you must – but arrange a time to do so. Patients in a study were taught to catch themselves if they worried throughout the day, and save the thought for later. They then had a 30-minute block of time to focus on their stress. Turns out this made them calmer throughout the day and taught them a valuable brain control technique.
Set goals – but make them manageable, and don’t beat yourself uptoo much if you fail. Those of us that are perfectionists often set lofty goals and then worry a lot if we’re not quickly reaching the standard. Make success a matter of steps, rather than a black-and-white, all-or-nothing situation.
Go with the flow – small stuff is always going to go wrong. Traffic. Spilled coffee. Computer not working. Not hearing your alarm. And so on. Minor occurrences of things going wrong can become major irritations in our lives, creating a very negative outlook if we let them.
If you are looking for other ways to improve your mental health, or want to know more about how facing infertility might cause issues, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below.
Dr. Melanie Ochalski
P.S. To learn the difference we’ve made in patients’ lives, you can check out our free webinar here.