Do you feel like it’s impossible to thrive through infertility?
I so often hear women on their fertility journeys thinking it’s impossible to thrive or even be happy during this time. But the reality is you need to!
Here’s the truth: the ability to thrive in the face of adversity is the hallmark of parenthood … that dream you hold so close.
So, thriving now is key not just as you prepare your body for pregnancy, but also as you prepare your mind and attitude for parenthood.
What is thriving?
Essentially when you’re thriving, you’re feeling good and functioning well.
When I started my Master in Applied Positive Psychology (not Happyology!) we were asked “who is responsible for your happiness?” This question might seem a hard one – but it is actually a lot easier than you might think.
So, if your answer was a resounding ‘me!’ than you’re right.
What about other factors – families, friends, your career … do they provide you with happiness? What about governments … should happy citizens be considered when running a country? This is where it gets more complex.
The truth is though – and this might not be easy to read – our happiness does come down to each and every one of us.
No matter how inconsiderate people are, or how much compassion they do or don’t show you – you are responsible for how you respond. And you are responsible for what you do, day in and day out, to give yourself the best chance of being happy and thriving.
The How of Happiness
In her book “The How of Happiness” (not written specifically for women trying to conceive, but still a great read) Sonya Lyubomirsky says it is easy to be happy in the short term – which can come down to even a piece of cake or a new pair of shoes!
We’ve all experienced this kind of happy, right?!
Thriving takes a more concerted effort. The reality is that none of us can just expect the world to deliver us happiness.
So how can you be happier and thrive?
It starts with knowing yourself and a bit of effort, each and every day. The good news is that those happy chemicals we covered in a recent blog will kick in once you start practising. Soon your brain will crave those happy hormones and you’ll find yourself seeking it more and more.
So how can you practice being happier? Let me share some of Sonya’s tips (I call it a recipe):
Positive Emotions – finding ways to bring positive emotions – such as joy, curiosity, vitality, enthusiasm, even pride – to your world are part (only part) of being happy. While positive emotions are short term, they can help you set intentions and move towards your goals.
Variety – don’t hang your happiness hat on one thing (for example having a baby). Explore yourself and know there are many different ways to find happiness. Remember, variety is the spice of life.
Social support – relationships are key to our happiness. Just like on your socials, it is absolutely okay to ‘unfollow’ in real life those people who are not helping you to be a better version of yourself. If they don’t help you grow – cut them loose!
Commitment – committing to yourself is just as important as committing to friends. When things feel difficult, it’s okay to feel the grief and the sadness. Your commitment to your wellbeing is to acknowledge all your feelings and then continue to do the things you know will help you thrive (without the guilt of moving on).
Habit – is key to your mindfulness practice and to thriving. Our brains love habits, which is why they are hard to break! Set up a happiness habit and commit to the things that help you grow and thrive. When you repeat them, they’ll become a habit and will no longer require as much thought or energy to do. How good are habits!
Remember: happiness or thriving helps your mind, body and spirit. Get to know yourself, learn what makes you happy and commit to being happier. You’ve got this!
Are you feeling broken or depressed about your fertility – if your answer was yes you are not alone. Click here to read my blog about how your thoughts can shape your feelings.