I hear people often say “I meditate all the time.” When I ask how they do it, or what it’s like for them, I often get a similar answer: “I just sit and think about things.” Hmmm… In yoga, we often talk about ‘sitting with it’ but maybe there’s a misunderstanding of what this actually means.
There’s a concept called ‘interoception.’ This is a sensory experience of the body. Rumbling of the stomach signaling hunger, butterflies in the stomach as a signal of anxiety, or pounding in the chest showing an elevated heart rate. These are all various forms of interoception. When the words ‘sit with it’ is used it means to sit and notice what you’re feeling inside. Not overthinking it, just noticing it.
Rumination is thinking. It’s deep thinking, maybe analyzing or even overanalyzing a situation, feeling, thought, or action. Thinking about things is a great way to assess a situation from an analytical perspective, but over-analyzing and ruminating can lead to a negative feedback loop with no end in sight. In instances where emotions and feelings are involved, ruminating can become paralytic.
This is similar to “sitting with it.” There are so many ways you can meditate, but meditation in its essence is about bringing yourself out of your thinking mind into [your] sensing [mind]. The purpose of all meditation practices is to bring/keep you in the present; noticing your sensations and the scenes of life as they unfold in front of you without judgment, without pushing it away, and without overreaction. Meditation is a practice, it’s essentially a form of mindfulness, and mindfulness is a form of meditation.
Having a form of mindfulness/meditation that you can fall back on while going through infertility can be vital to your mental health. It’s never too late to find a practice that resonates with you. Mindfulness practices run the spectrum from breathing, movement, and various forms of meditation. Choose one that works for you and cultivate it often to find some serenity on this crazy rollercoaster of infertility.