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How Journaling Can Help Your Fertility
A blog by Sarah Clark, December 9, 2014
If you are going through infertility it can be absolutely overwhelming and exhausting. There can be a complete loss of control. I know first hand how this feels. The endless visits to doctors and specialists. The fertility drugs that leave you feeling irritable, nauseous and like a crazy version of yourself. To add to the insanity everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant. You find yourself on a downward spiral of jealously, anger and despair.
First of all do not minimize what you are going through. All those emotions that you are feeling are completely normal. Take a breath. Let that sink in. It makes sense to feel these emotions given your journey with infertility. Time to show start showing yourself some love, understanding and compassion.
You have heard it all before, what you concentrate on expands. When you focus on the good stuff, you bring more good into your life. However, like exercising a muscle, it takes time. So be patient.
As you begin to rewire your brain, you slowly start to take yourself off automatic pilot. Did you know that 99% of thoughts you have today are the same thoughts you will have again tomorrow? What are you thinking about? Are your thoughts focusing on worry, self-doubt, guilt and shame? What about on injecting some self-compassion, self-love and patience?
Why is journaling so important?
Journaling helps you to focus on the positive events in your life. An exercise from positive psychology (which is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives) is the “3 good things”.
This is a little different than a gratitude exercise. You journal about what went well during the day and then think about which strengths you used to make it happen. Writing it down helps you to relive the experience and that’s a good thing!
How to practice your daily “3 good things”:
- Before you go to bed, write down three good things that happened during the day.
- Then, write down why each of them happened. What strengths did you use to for them happen? Your love of learning, perseverance, kindness?
- Think about the impact these positive events had on your day. How would your day have gone if they didn’t happen?
Getting started with journaling:
- Get a journal: pick one that resonates with you – either full of motivational quotes, plain and simple, flowery, or if you don’t want to get one, a spiral notebook works too!
- Pick a time when you will journal: best to pick an activity - such as after you brush your teeth, or as soon as you get into bed. (An activity rather than a specific time will help you begin to form a daily habit)
- Figure out your strengths: Take this free survey to determine your strengths. http://www.viacharacter.org/survey/Account/Register
Remember to go easy on yourself. Often we are our own worst critics. Start to bring awareness to that little voice inside your head. As I like to tell my clients, you are not the voice or your thoughts. You are the one watching the thoughts. Chew on that one for a while and see if you start to bring a new awareness to your day!