Medically speaking, the term infertility refers to the inability to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse. Infertility or inability to conceive has emerged as one of the most widespread problems among couples trying to conceive and it is being seen as a serious global health issue by physicians around the world. Research has shown that excessive stress can act as a major cause of infertility in women and those with hectic jobs and extreme work pressure are the ones most at risk. The modern lifestyle has provided us with many luxuries but it has also complicated lives in many ways with its never ending work pressure, targets , deadlines and over dependence on instant processed foods.
Researchers have tested the levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme present in saliva that acts as a biological stress indicator among women, and those with higher level of alpha-amylase were less likely to become pregnant than those with lower levels of this enzyme.
Stress often influences the working of the hypothalamus — the gland in the brain that regulates appetite, emotions and also the hormones that signals the ovaries to release eggs during each cycle. But anxiety and stress can make a woman ovulate later in the cycle or not at all thereby cutting out the possibility of getting pregnant. So if a couple plans the intercourse around day 14, taking it the time for ovulation, they can completely miss out the opportunity to conceive.
There is absolutely no point in suggesting a person to just stop taking stress and relax, when we all know very well that’s not how things work. But what can be suggested is to prioritize the important issues and try to find the cause of the stress. If it is due to something that can be controlled, like- job, family or financial matters, then one should try to eliminate it and make the mind as free as possible and squeeze out some quality time to unwind and relax. Here I have presented a few ways to ward off stress at the workplace.
We often get tense and freaked out when we feel a situation slipping out of our grip and we have no power to control it. Such situations trigger the release of stress hormones and a prolonged stressful phase may lead to lowered self-confidence, attention and concentration.
The best way to cope with such situations is to sit down with a cool mind and analyze the various aspects of the situation and point out the facets that can be controlled and solved by you and those that are beyond your control. The next step is to deliver 100% from your side and be immaculate in your portion of the job and leave the rest.
All of us are bombarded with thousands of task lists and deadlines every day but instead of being bogged down by the ever increasing tasks, we have to determine what is truly important for the organization as well as ourselves and what requires our foremost attention. This however, calls for extreme clarity of mind. Create a strategic list of tasks and try to focus on projects that will have utmost positive impact on the company as well as yourself.
Don’t commit to more than you can do in a day. Try to draw up a task list that you can complete with in stipulated time so that you don’t need to freak out about the dead line. It is our common tendency to chalk out an inflated work schedule underestimating the time each project is going to take in reality which ultimately land us with a half finished project that in turn makes us feel depressed and miserable. Don’t try to squeeze in more than you can do in a day. Learn to distinguish between the “important” and “not so important” tasks and put the latter ones at the end of the list.
Most of us spend our day glued to the workstation, our faces buried under piles of folders in an effort to maximize productivity in the 9 hours but what actually happens is increased stress and frustration due to which we fret for the rest of the day instead of attending to our families. Therefore organize and plan out the day systematically and cut out the sulking.
Squeeze in short breaks within your busy work schedule during which you can go out to the balcony and enjoy some fresh air, do some light stretching sitting on your chair, walk to the coffee machine and enjoy a cup of brewing coffee with your colleagues or plan out a small, fun event that you can do post work. Such breaks work wonders in lowering stress levels and increasing productivity at the same time.
When it comes to stress, music is probably the best antidote that calms the mind, elevates the mood and makes you happy instantly. Therefore, it is a must to maintain your favorite, stress busting playlist at your workplace which not only helps lower anxiety and stress levels but works as an effective distraction and relaxant.
Eating healthy and nutritious food is extremely important to keep your system functioning properly in stressful situations. Stay away from processed and junk food and try to have a low sugar, high protein diet that is rich in fiber. If you have to work night shifts then make it a point to keep yourself well hydrated and don’t compromise on your 8 hours of sleep because it’s the only time when the body rejuvenates itself, getting rid of the excess hormones and toxins. If you are overwhelmed with thoughts then try out a few breathing exercises that will help you relax and fall asleep.
Tea is one of the oldest and most powerful natural detoxifying drinks that helps fight day to day stress. Have a cup of black or green tea, or which other tea you prefer and calm down your senses with its relaxing and soothing warmth and rich aroma. The next time you are working late, keep your thermos of tea in handy that will keep you recharged and running.
Basking in the abundant beauty of Mother Nature is the best antidote for stress and depression. Try to manage half an hour from your work schedule and go for a stroll in the nearby park to unwind yourself. Enjoy the soft afternoon sunlight, feel the fresh breeze as it touches your face and you won’t even know when your anxiety has passed away leaving behind a streak of soothing smile on your face. It will also work as an amazing stress buster exercise.
Your best friend or closest sibling can always help you relax and bring a smile to your face even in the most stressful of situations. Laughter is a natural stress buster that releases oxytocin in blood, a feel good hormone that helps in lifting up mood. The next time you feel stressed, reach out for your phone, call your loved one and laugh it out to feel an instant mood lift.
Deep breathing helps relax and sooth the body and mind in any stressful situation. The next time you have a tough time at the board meeting and need to relax your mind, just walk away from the chaos to a secluded place, close your eyes and take a deep breath inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling to the same count. Repeat this 6-8 times and feel your heart rate come down gradually. Deep breathing restores balance and helps in bringing calm and focus.
Hope these simple and easy guidelines will help you cope up with hectic work schedules and as for the conception, just let your body relax, give it some time and nature will take its course in the right time.