A wise guru named Sadhguru teaches us that we can either think in survival mode in order to try to limit the problems that may come our way, or think in expansion mode and try to stretch ourselves to be more joyful and make our lives fuller.
When you are building your family, thinking in survival mode can be a natural reflex. How many times have you felt guarded talking to family and friends about your journey, or became anxious trying to think about all of the problems your donor may have, or about all the things that can happen to you in the process, in order to try to limit the impact of potential problems?
It is vitally important to educate yourself, and give yourself the best chances of having a healthy child. However, it is also important to mitigate the long list of items that can cause stress. When we live in survival mode for too long, we can, unknowingly, become more stressed. Before we know it, we may be breathing shorter breaths, our shoulders may begin to move up to our ears, and we may lean on unhealthy habits to feel better.
If our stress increases, our unhealthy ways of coping can become the norm and then our negative coping strategies may increase over time to save us from our fears. Perhaps eating or drinking has become excessive, withdrawing from loved ones becomes comfortable, or good habits like exercising and eating well begin to feel impossible?
As fear dominates over expansion, life can contract. Focusing on what needs to be guarded against becomes the focal point of each situation. At this point, adding expansive thoughts and activities can feel like an uphill battle. Why? Because as fear and survival becomes dominant, they begin to eat away at our lives.
What’s worse is that our brains are already wired to look for what’s wrong in our environment. Our bodies are primed to go down that dark rabbit hole on Google, suspect the worst, and begin to feel exceptionally unlucky, unloved and perhaps even doomed for more problems. When this happens, more problems can happen. Arguments with loved ones can increase, your health could suffer and opportunities may be harder to see. Before you know it, your world can shrink and you can feel imprisoned and small.
Perhaps guarding yourself feels necessary. After all, the higher your hopes, the farther you have to fall if things don’t work out. But this is not a zero-sum game. Accepting that fear-based living is limiting may motivate you to add life affirming actions to your day.
You don’t need to feel like doing this any more than you feel like getting up early to work out. Yet, just like working out and healthy eating, the more good you can add to your week, the less likely you will be to move away from your best self.
Perhaps you can start a daily 5-10 minute meditation practice, join a hiking club, incorporate one healthy food into your weekly diet (spinach in your smoothie is a great way to do it). Your efforts don’t need to be huge, but they need to add to the life affirming list in your life.
If you would like some help with ideas, support or motivation please feel free to reach out to us any time.
Were here to make your journey easier.