Is mental health tied to physical health and does it have an impact on our ability to easily conceive?
Can our thoughts and emotions elicit a response in our bodies?
Is there a connection between our thoughts and emotions and our ability to fall pregnant?
The Mind Body Collection
The mind and the body are inextricably linked. When one suffers, the other is quick to follow suit. When you're stressed – over financial woes, relationship challenges, infertility or whatever life throws your way – you may experience migraines, palpitations or stomach upsets. In the same way, health complications such as cardiovascular ailments, diabetes and high blood pressure may lead to chronic stress; which precedes depression. And, once you're depressed, the emotional effect on your immune system can be like a domino effect, leading to a slew of health complications. Similarly, when you're struggling to conceive, the emotional stress can make it even harder to fall pregnant.
Our thoughts and emotions do affect or elicit a response from our body's chemistry. In fact, it has been proven that one cannot live without the other. In the words of Hippocrates, "health is a state of complete harmony of all the elements of life". In order for this harmony to exist, our mind, body and spirit must be in a state of health or balance. As such, we can establish that our mental welfare is to a large extent tied to our body.
According to Dr. Lisa Rankin the author of Mind Over Medicine. "When our brain feels good, it can change our cells, convert them into brain cells and improve memory. "Once again the opposite also holds true. A person's thoughts have a profound physical impact on their body's ability to heal, fight infection and resist disease. "
As such, when we use our minds in a positive way, to think about what makes us feel good, then our emotional state will lead to positive physical changes in our body. Meanwhile when we think negatively about things that make us feel bad, then our emotional state will bring negative physical changes in the body. The emotions of fear and anxiety create stress on the body. As such, when we feel these emotions, it can cause various biochemical reactions in the body which can lead to illness or disease
The Changing of Minds
When we are in shock or are in a state of fear, the body is biologically predisposed to fight this condition by activating the sympathetic nervous system. By releasing chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline etc. the body prepares itself for "fight or flight". This is an ancient evolutionary response that allows us to react quickly to danger. When this happens the mind also changes gears, causing the person to perceive danger or threat that might not really exist. But, when we feel safe and secure the body calms down and begins to relax. At this point, our minds can become complacent and allow us to stop looking for issues or problems.
This phenomena discussed above brings out the connection between thinking and feeling and how it affects the body. When we are depressed, anxious, stressed or angry our bodies change to reflect these emotions. As such, mind-body connection is one of the most important principles in all holistic healing and particularly infertility. It is the connection between the mind, body and spirit. The way we feel, and think can change our life and once we realise this we can use our minds to heal our bodies as well as control our emotional state.
Infertility and The Mind
The mind as we have discussed is an incredibly powerful tool. In Louise’s case, a lifetime of negative programming and limiting beliefs had her stuck, paralysed with fear and unable to move forward. This had left her battling 6 years of infertility issues, with a diagnosis of Coeliac Disease and unable to succeed at all in a professional sense. Her mental and physical health was suffering, and she had hit rock bottom. If she didn’t make a change, she was on a fast path to a mental health diagnosis and more than just infertility and Coeliac Disease physically.
Her six-year journey through infertility was the catalyst Louise needed for change. In order to be able to achieve her dream of having a baby, she needed to unpack what was really going on.
Louise decided she needed support and guidance to get her through this extremely stressful and scary period of their lives, so she sought help. With professional support and her determination and commitment to make a change, she got back to being the person she had lost during the better part of a decade, married her now husband and as it so happened nearly nine months to the day after their wedding, she gave birth to their son. Their baby boy had been conceived naturally; it was a miracle from the universe! After 6 years of no results from medical intervention, she had fallen pregnant naturally.
Master Your Mind Or Your Mind Will Master You
Louise’s story and many like hers are proof that the mind and body are inextricably linked. The mind is so powerful that it can initiate a chain reaction in our bodies which can lead to health problems including infertility if not addressed. With infertility on the rise, there are over 40 million infertile couples in the world today suffering from both physical and undiagnosed infertility, (This number could be much higher if not for the stigma that surrounds infertility) this is something for us all to keep in mind.