This week we had the great pleasure of doing a #fertilityexpertslive with the wonderful Harriet Mac-Masters-Green, actor and writer. Harriet has suffered from panic attacks for years and gave us invaluable tips and tools to cope with stress – ‘your breath is your best friend’. Whether you practise fertility meditation, acupuncture for fertility, yoga or have issues with sleeping / anxiety (especially during fertility treatments), check out what Harriet has to say in the video and her insightful article below. During the Insta LIVE, we announce something very exciting that’s coming up in September, check it out below…
Over to Harriet MacMasters-Green…
@harriet_mg | www.harrietmg.com
Dealing with Anxiety and Uncertainty
If you have ever suffered from anxiety or have known someone who has suffered from anxiety, it’s very likely that you will have an understanding of this complex disorder. Being faced with a struggle whilst trying to conceive, can leave you heartbroken and anxious. So what are the signs? Well, the signs are varied. They don’t necessarily scream, ‘I have a problem!’. They can be quiet, self-contained and inwardly agonising. Anxiety is a clever disorder because for the most part we are all anxious about opening up about it, calling it out or discussing it. What is helpful to understand is that your body is generally very good at supporting you; it wants to keep the status quo; it wants to maintain homeostasis and keep your internal state stable and balanced. At the same time we all know that life can throw us curve balls and change is our only constant.
According to health.org.uk, women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men and it is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. If you can imagine the people who don’t seek help, these figures are likely to be much greater.
Covid-19 has seen anxiety levels soar, stress levels, relationships and positive mindsets shrink to record lows for recent times. Our lives are on hold, our jobs, resources and familiar feel goods have all been ripped away from us and covered up like the masks we must now wear (to protect each other). If we weren’t stressed before, we are most probably experiencing some of the symptoms of anxiety and uncertainly right now.
Related Article – IVF Cancelled Cycle – Treatment Halted Abruptly During ‘Down-Regs’
How Does Anxiety Manifest Itself In Our Bodies?
It does so in a variety of different ways. For instance, the thumping, irregular heart beat, the feeling of restlessness and extreme heat rushing through the body. For me it was a combination of symptoms that effectively disabled the way I previously knew how to live. At the time I was working night and day, under extreme pressure and not privy to the self- nourishment my mind and body craved. I also found myself trapped in a relationship I didn’t know how to escape from. Without warning, my body suddenly began to shut down. From one day to the next I was unable to walk, sleep or eat without experiencing incredible pain in my chest. I couldn’t leave my flat because I felt like my body was folding in two. The nights were the hardest. As soon as I turned off the lights, my heart would begin to race and the panic attacks resurfaced. I could hear a ringing pulse in my ears, my lungs went solid and I couldn’t breathe. Instinctively I would lay on the cold floor close to the earth, where it felt strangely comforting. I remember trying frantically to picture happy, calm scenarios in my head – the beach, sea, faces, slow breathing, anything to take me away from the fear and darkness that I was experiencing. It took some time to recover from this period in my life and, as with any disorder, it never really goes away – you just try to get better at dealing with and controlling it.
Finding a Solution
Yoga and meditation have been a part of my life for many years (you could try fertility yoga), long before the panic attacks, but it wasn’t until a little time after that I had reemerged from from the darkness. I knew I needed to study more about the body, the mind and the breath. Each one of the individuals I now work with has a unique story to tell of their own. Loss, grief, fear, pain inadequacy – we are all thinking and feeling souls. At various points in our lives we have complex feelings that we need to unearth, explore and express. We need connection, connection both with ourselves and towards others. This is where yoga and meditation can help guide us back to the space within our bodies where tranquility lies. I like to picture it like a calm lake with the sun glistening down on it. In that moment you can detach from the fogginess of your thoughts and become entirely present with your body and your breath.
Read More – Fertility Meditation & Yoga – What is it and how can it Increase Fertility / IVF Success Rates?
The disturbances in our minds can only be tamed when we have the tools or anchors to guide our awareness away from the never-ending wheel of worry. The breath is a fantastic place to focus on and, with practice, we can begin to balance our breath with more ease whenever we need too. Balance the breath and you can help to balance the body. Our yoga practice helps us to explore conscious shapes and move in tune with our mind, body and breath. When the thoughts creep back, we come back to our breath and invite the thoughts to move on. I like to picture it as though one is looking over a bridge and the thoughts are like the water passing below. We have creative minds, we will never stop thinking, but there is a release to be found in yoga and the wonderful thing about it is that you just need to show up. To be present in your body and your breath is the best gift you could possibly give yourself – where your intention goes, energy flows. We don’t have all the answers, but we can learn how to help ourselves and we mustn’t hold back from talking to or asking for help from others when we need it.
Mind, Body, Nourishment ♀️
On Wednesday evening, Harriet and I (Eloise), chatted on an Insta LIVE all about mind, body and nourishment. Watch back, to hear Harriet talk about her own personal experience with panic attacks, how we all deal with negative thoughts on a daily basis, sleep, affirmations and excellent coping tips.
We even reveal a little surprise coming up in September, which you won’t want to miss! So, in the meantime, make sure you sign up to our new community to hear more.
Harriet teaches groups and 1-2-1 students both online and outdoors – you can contact Harriet here.