an adoptive couple experience stress during their adoption waitMost adoptive couples face stress at some point during their adoption wait. Although not all stress is bad, much of what we experience is avoidable. To keep physically and mentally healthy, it’s very important that we learn how to deal with stress successfully.

When you’re waiting for a birth mother to contact you, stress can start to creep up. Stress that you’re not desirable as adoptive parents, or even stress that you’ll never adopt a baby. Stress causes a release of hormones in our body that gets us into a “fight or flight” mode. If you’re always in that mode, it’ll make you exhausted and sick. When the fight or flight response happens too often or goes on for too long, those same hormones can start to damage your health! Read to get Lifetime’s tips on how to cope with stress during your adoption wait.

Try Mindfulness

This word is heard a lot in the media nowadays, but what is it exactly? Mindfulness means that you’re fully present, aware of you are and what you’re doing, and not overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. It also means that you’re not thinking about the past or the present, but focused on the here and now. To do practice mindfulness, you need to slow yourself down and focus on the activity at hand.

Instead of thinking ‘I’ll be happy once we bring our baby home,’ mindfulness means to let go of any thought unrelated to the present. Instead, find something to enjoy now. For example, thank the Lord that you have a safe place to live and a roof over your head. Thank Him that you’re healthy and on the right track to becoming parents.

When you remember something stressful, move on to a more positive thought and remember to be grateful. Instead of griping that you haven’t adopted yet, practice being thankful for what you do have. When you practice gratitude and mindfulness, you’ll find that you body unwinds, your muscles relax, and your stress is released.

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing
-Proverbs 17:22

Laugh Every Day

Laughter is one of the most powerful ways to heal, and it has no side effects. It’s been proven to lower the stress hor­mones epinephrine and cortisol. Laughing will also release endorphins, which brings about a feeling of well-being throughout the whole body. Even when things happening around you might be negative, laughter helps you keep a positive attitude and remain thankful.

Studies have shown that happy people have better relationships, express empathy more easily, and can use their intelligence more effectively. Even though happy people also experience tragedy and hardship, they are better at handling it and maintaining hope for the future.

A happy heart is one of your greatest weapons against stress. Choosing a good attitude may not diminish the amount of suffering in your life or in the world, but it does help lighten the load. Creating habits of happiness, living in the moment and being grateful are some of the most powerful medicines available to help you win the battle against stress.