28 Mar PCOS and Infertility: Practicing Mindfulness Meditation
PCOS related infertility issues can leave you feeling anxious, irritable, and moody. There’s a lot of fear about the future – whether you’ll be able to get pregnant or stay pregnant, have a healthy baby or breastfeed. Or you may be thinking far into the future with worry that if you have a girl, she’ll have PCOS too.
Infertility diagnosis and treatment can increase your stress levels exponentially. Especially if you’ve started any hormonal treatments to improve your chances of getting pregnant, the irritability and mood swings are a lot to manage.
Optimizing fertility is an activity in which you, the patient, play a very active role. Taking active steps right now to improve your overall health and wellness, reduces your stress greatly! I highly recommend practicing mindfulness meditation. It reduces your pulse and heart rate and decreases anxiety, all while increasing mental flexibility, clarity, resilience, and a sense of energized calm.
PCOS Wellness How-To: Mindfulness Meditation
- Set a timer for five minutes, so that you aren’t constantly checking the clock to see how long it’s been.
- Sit comfortably, with an erect posture. No need for special cushions.
- Cue the music or guided meditation, if you’re using one.
- Soften your gaze or close your eyes.
- Notice your breath.
- Notice when your mind wanders from your breath.
- Know that a wandering mind is totally normal.
- If you feel like your mind is wandering too much, label the thoughts “thoughts” or “thinking” and return your attention to your breath.
- Repeat until the timer goes off.
- Congratulate yourself on meditating!
Don’t worry about trying to teach yourself to meditate. There’s really no wrong way to do it. What is important is to begin where you are. To have what you want – a family – you must begin. And so, it is with mindfulness meditation. Begin with five minutes a day (three minutes if that’s all you think you can manage – even one minute) and increase until you are meditating mindfully for 20 minutes per day.
Here are my favorite meditation sites and apps:
- UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Resources Center, one of the original research homes for mindfulness. They have a number of free meditations that you can download, or listen to from a phone or laptop.
- Insight Timer is an app that is free, and has great sorting abilities – you can choose music, guided meditation, just a timer, etc. It’s the one I use every morning for 20 minutes to get my day started off right.
- I like the Calm app as well.
I’m hopeful that trying meditation, as described above, will serve as the gateway to curiosity about other ways to decrease stress and improve physical and mental well-being.
Need more support? Post your questions about mindfulness meditation and infertility when you join my free Facebook private group, PCOS Psychology