Ever wondered why, when you decide you want something in life, it seems to appear all around you? I remember when I first started to drive I wanted a yellow car. Suddenly there appeared to be all these yellow cars on the road, reinforcing to me that yes that’s what I want!
Have you noticed that since you started trying to conceive, there appears to be more pregnant women or women with babies around? There actually isn’t any more babies around, but you are noticing them more.
This is your Reticular Activating System, or RAS, at work. The RAS is your data processing system in the brain. It takes in all the pieces of information in your environment, like sounds, colours, tastes, images, objects, up to somewhere like 2,000,000 bits of data at any one time.
Your brain however can only handle a certain amount of information and so your RAS acts like a filter, working out which pieces of information are important.
How does your brain choose what is important? By what you focus on the most. This is why when our heads tell us, over and over, we can’t lose weight, we don’t. When we hear our minds say “I’m not very good at x, y or z” then it finds evidence that reinforces - I’m not very good at x, y or z. The same goes with our emotions about infertility. When our minds are full of our fertility issues and how they mess up our lives, and stop us from being happy, then what we focus on can quickly come a self-defeating belief.
When we think thoughts like, “I will never be happy until I have a baby” – we are setting our reticular activating system to take in information that supports us not being happy.
Other common thoughts like,"I’ll never be a mother" or "I need a baby to be a real woman" are very unhelpful in navigating our journey toward motherhood.
Our belief system has an enormous impact on our self-talk, which in turn impacts on us finding proof, this then reinforces our belief system, and so the cycle continues. This is the power of the RAS. So be careful about what you focus on, as these negative thoughts can integrate themselves into our beliefs.
It is important to hold hope, to look for the positives in your life, look for ways to achieve your dream of parenthood, and then your RAS will start to show you ways that prove this belief to be true, and it will happen. Clever brain!!
To learn more and enrol in The Mind Body Program for Fertility in your city click here