The year of 2020 was challenging, affecting everyone in the World and being particularly difficult for everyone who has been trying to conceive. But 2020 was also an opportunity to build strength, resilience and to find grace in the most desperate circumstances. In this article, I invite you to start a new year with a new mindset, that will bring you more connection with yourself, with others and with your surroundings.
Reframing our mindset when TTC
When trying to conceive for a long time, it’s natural that some negative thoughts will pop in our head. Maybe we start believing that we are ‘too old’, that our ‘body is not healthy enough’ or that ‘treatment is not going to work’. This mindset can make us feel sad, angry, less hopeful and even less willing to continue trying for a baby.
Reframing is a psychology technique that helps us look at an idea, situation, person or relationship differently. It is based on the idea that our point of view depends on the frame it is viewed in. When this frame is shifted, the meaning of the situation changes, and our thoughts change with it.
Step 1: Notice your thoughts
The first step in changing how you view a situation is to notice your thoughts. Start by paying attention to your emotions and the thoughts that come along with those emotions. Becoming aware of your thoughts may be difficult to start with, but with time and practice, you’ll be able to do it rather quickly.
Step 2: Analyse your thoughts
After noticing and identifying your thoughts, you need to analyse them. Start by looking at cognitive distortions – these are faulty ways of thinking about ourselves, other or situations. Even though they are faulty, we can sometimes perceive them as real, and our confidence, self-esteem or how we feel about a situation can be affected.
Some examples of cognitive distortions are:
- Black and white thinking: when you use words like ‘always’ or ‘never’.
- Catastrophising: when you think about the worst possible consequences that may or may not happen.
- Personalising: believing that it was your fault.
Step 3: Challenge your thoughts
Once you have identified your thought and whether there is any cognitive distortion, it’s time to challenge it. After all, you know that not all thoughts that pop in your head are real. A simple way to challenge thoughts is using Socratic Questioning, which involves asking ourselves:
- Is this thought realistic?
- Am I basing my thoughts on facts or on feelings?
- What is the evidence for this thought? What is the evidence against it?
- Could I be misinterpreting the evidence?
You can use this simple exercise from TherapistAid.com to help you answer these questions.
Step 4. Replace it with a fair and balanced thought
Once you have analysed your thought, you will have a more realistic view of the situation. You may even notice that your feelings about the situation have changed.
Make sure you write down your new thought, that is fair and balanced view of what is happening.
A new year is also full of opportunities. The strategy above will help you reframe your mindset, so you find grace, love and joy around you.
May 2021 bring you connection and the baby so longed for.
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