AnxietyInfertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) when you are trying to conceive is nerve-racking for many couples. With so much riding on the cycle, it’s easy to see how couples can get anxious and stressed. But for couples already struggling with fertility problems, the last thing you need is something else interfering with conception.

Decreasing stress is critical for couples trying to conceive using fertility treatment. The state of being relaxed is a better condition for your body to function at its best for the IVF cycle. So a spa day is in order, no? Or maybe a yoga retreat in the mountains?

Both are great options … for celebrities or the uber wealthy. Many couples in fertility treatment are neither rich nor famous, and they simply don’t have funds left over for spa days or expensive retreats. To that end, here are a few ways to reduce stress for free.

  1. Just breathe. Faith Hill was on to something with this one. The key to reducing anxiety is to calm the body. Some of the signs of anxiety include increases in heart and breathing rates. To change this, simply concentrate on breathing slowly and steadily. The first few breaths are likely to be less controlled, but if you stick with it and concentrate on extending each breath even by a few seconds, before long you will descend into a more relaxed state — worthy of any yoga mat.
  2. Physical activity. Sometimes what you need is distraction. A common activity before anxiety includes dwelling on a problem. The longer you dwell, the more anxious you become. Distract yourself. If you can, go to the gym or your regular, in-town yoga class. However, a brisk walk can also do the trick. If you are at work, stand up at your desk and try some twisting stretches, and touch your toes a couple of times.
  3. Writing. Maybe you aren’t the journaling type. That’s fine. However, an excellent way to overcome feelings of anxiety is to confront them on paper (or screen). Write exactly what you are worried about in grand detail, including how you feel about it. This method serves as a way to express your feelings and define the problem. If you have it on paper, write, read and tear it into pieces. There is something freeing about tearing up a worry.
  4. Do something nice for another person. Good feelings have a way of winning out over the bad ones most of the time. There are few ways you can get better good feelings than the ones that come from helping others. Doing something for someone else not only makes you feel better, but it also reminds you everyone is facing some problem in his or her life.

Anxiety and stress are never particularly helpful emotions, but certainly not for those couples who are trying to conceive using IVF or another fertility treatment. Try these free ways to relieve some of your anxiety and facilitate the best possible mental state for a successful conception.

Sources:

“Stress Management Health Center.” www.webmd.com. 16 December 2014. < http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation#>

Domar, PhD, Alice D. “Meditation and Relaxation Techniques.” www.resolve.org. Web. 16 December 2014. <http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/Managing-Infertility-Stress/meditation-relaxation.html>