Perhaps the most frustrating thing to hear when you’re trying to get pregnant is, “Just relax,” or “You’re thinking about it too hard.” Whether you fall into the unexplained infertility category, or have a painful condition like PCOS or endometriosis; it can be really hard to hear that you could think your way out of your situation. It can feel insulting and can really trigger our hurt, and insecurity when we are already feeling vulnerable. Unfortunately, this hurt and frustration can be the thing that keeps us stuck in a never-ending loop.

When we’re in the middle of a fertility journey, it can be stressful and draining. We exhaust all medical options, try every supplement on the planet, stand on our heads after sex and nothing works. It seems too simple that shifting out thought process could actually shift our reality- but it can. I see it every day in my holistic fertility practice.

For those who haven’t experienced it, it can seem a little hard to fathom. Especially when there’s a medical condition there can be frustration when people mention the mind-body component and shifting mindset. Many people make “shifting your mindset” mean “it’s all in your head”—and that’s actually not what it means. “All in your head” implies that the pain is not real, and that you’re making up the problem. And that of course is not the case—the pain is very real, and you’re not making up the problem.

However every physical issue is the result of an emotional cause. (Learn more: You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay, HayHouse, 1984.) Our thoughts, beliefs, patterns and past experiences whether we like it or not, are informing how/if we move through certain things. Shifting your mindset isn’t about pretending you don’t have pain, when you do; or pretending you’re pregnant, when you’re not. It’s about accepting the situation for what it is and then choosing thoughts and actions that feel better to you. We can’t go from, “Everything sucks and it’s never going to happen,” to, “I’m pregnant and everything’s great!” overnight. It’s too big of an energetic gap. But what we can do is make incremental steps in that direction by noticing what IS going right. It’s our default setting to focus on and freak out about all of the things that are going wrong, and it’s definitely not habit to focus on the things that are going well and that we’re grateful for. But we all know that friend who’s like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh- where everything seems to go wrong for them no matter what they do. And we all know someone who’s like Tigger where everything is bouncy, positive and awesome- someone who things always seem to go right for. This is not coincidence. This is not luck. This is a choice. And even when you’re in a rut, you can move yourself out of it.

Hippocrates once wrote, “The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” Our body takes its orders from the brain. The brain is the control center of our human suit. So if we are negative and fearful, our body responds; if we are positive and capable, our body responds.

The Law of Attraction states that like energy attracts like energy. So when we put out hurt, frustrated energy, the Universe has to respond to us with like energy so we are met with a seemingly unending loop of hurt and frustration. Now we are human so of course we’re going to have these feelings throughout the journey; but the important thing is that we don’t let ourselves live there. We do technically have choice there. It’s not easy to start, because it’s not habit. The more we can choose thoughts that do feel good to us, or find actions that we can take for ourselves (versus waiting for doctors, spouses, god- or any source outside of ourselves to allow it)—the more your energy and mindset will start to shift.

You may want to make a gratitude journal and daily write three things you’re grateful for, or that are going right. Even if you write the same three things for awhile that’s okay. It’s more about you focusing on what you DO have versus what you don’t. This incrementally moves us towards positivity.

You might also consider working with a mentor, coach or therapist. No one can see all of their own crap. Trying to pull yourself out of a hole can be daunting. Sometimes you need someone to throw you a rope– someone to point out where you’re getting yourself tangled up and to help you sort it out. You might know that some of your thoughts aren’t helpful but you just don’t know how to stop thinking them. It can also be helpful to feel like you don’t have to do this by yourself.

So while yes, if someone flat out says the exact words, “It’s all in your head,”—by all means, let them have it! But if they’re suggesting changing your energy or mindset, know that they’re not saying “it’s in your head”, but that there are beliefs, patterns or fears that can be released than can actually move you forward. Your mind is so powerful. The term, mind-over-matter doesn’t exist for no reason! It’s still amazing to me when I see women’s physical realities change after they’ve changed how they’re putting their energy out into the world. And if it’s just not for you, that’s okay too. But, if what you’ve been trying hasn’t been working, it’s worth a shot. You owe it to yourself to leave no stone unturned. I’ve had people with PCOS, severe endometriosis, thyroid issues etc who were able to get pregnant once they dealt with what was emotionally causing the physical manifestation. You are just as capable, I promise. You can do this mamas. All the best on your journeys.