It’s November, Thanksgiving is upon us, and gratitude is the word of the day. But this time of year, being grateful can feel less like a celebration and more like an order — as anyone whose mother-in-law has ever made everyone “go around the table and say what you are thankful for” can attest. (FYI, the correct answer was, “This wonderful family.”
Plus, when you’re struggling to conceive or facing the challenge of infertility, being expected to express gratitude can be even more upsetting — particularly when everyone you know is gushing about how grateful they are for their adorable family and children. At Donor Egg Bank USA™, we understand that you are going through a lot and that in the list of feelings roiling around your mind and heart right now, gratitude may be very low on the list.
But gratitude is still worth exploring, because studies have shown, again and again, that it can have serious, concrete benefits for you and your health: body, mind, and spirit. If the phrase “gratitude journal” makes you want to barf, just call it your “gee thanks list” or your “s#*t I’m happy about list,” but give it a try. According to Princeton Medical, “When gratitude is expressed and/or received, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin, two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions. Dopamine and serotonin contribute to feelings of pleasure, happiness, and overall well-being.” Try jotting down something you’re thankful for right now and see if you can feel the good vibes flowing.
Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:
Your Friends and Family: Write down a few people you love and why. It could actually strengthen your bonds with them. According to The New York Times, “Numerous studies have found that having a grateful outlook, ‘counting one’s blessings’ and expressing gratitude to others can have positive effects on our emotional health as well as on interpersonal and romantic relationships.” In essence, appreciating your partner makes you both feel better about the relationship, which leads to them appreciating you more, on and on into relationship utopia. This cycle of positivity has earned gratitude its nickname, “social glue.”
Your Body: It turns out that expressing gratitude for your physical health could actually make you physically healthier! According to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, “Heart failure patients who kept a gratitude journal for eight weeks were more grateful and had reduced signs of inflammation afterwards.” As you embark on your family-building journey, physical health is likely at the forefront of your mind, and adding positivity to that space can only be a good thing.
So, there’s a jumping off point for you, but get creative and express thanks for the things that make you happy: your dog, your best friend, those revolutionary upside-down ketchup bottles…
As for us, this Thanksgiving, we’re feeling grateful for you, our amazing Donor Egg Bank USA community! Thank you for trusting us to support you on your path to parenthood. We are honored to be at your side during this exciting yet extremely intense time in your life.
We are also grateful to our amazing donors who are so passionate about helping build families that they go through extensive genetic, psychological, family history, fertility, and infectious disease screening to make sure we bring you the highest quality frozen donor eggs possible.
We know that the family-centric holiday season can be trying when all you want to do is start your own family, but we hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Take time to be kind to yourself, and wherever you are on your journey, we’re here for you — someone we are very grateful for!
If you’re just starting out, register for a free account on DonorEggBankUSA.com to browse partial donor profiles right away. Or you can aways contact us or call 240-778-6210 for more information.