How Mindfulness Helped Cope with Cancer

Cancer is a deadly disease and those who are diagnosed with cancer lose hope in their lives. Patients with this illness experience a different array of emotions depending on their life experiences. Some get frightened, while some go in shock or feel pangs of sadness.

They may get confused and ask themselves why they got this deadly disease. They will experience different highs and lows in their physical health and emotions as they go through thetreatment. Many of them feel frustrated about the disturbance that cancer has caused in their lives.

Patients can cope with the havoc that being diagnosed with cancer wreaks by employing certain strategies. They can employ those solutions that they generally do when they are going through a crisis. For instance, some people move to their family in hard times for emotional and financial support.  In addition, mindfulness techniques can take the minds of people from distractions or they can worry and harm their health more by thinking about negativity.

Merriam Webster defines mindfulness as the state or quality of being aware. It is a state of being where the person doesn’t judge his surroundings. It is about feeling everything and not getting affected by it at all.

The provenance of mindfulness exercise can be traced to the ancient religion of the east like Hinduism and Buddhism. The object of indulging in these activities in these religions and beliefs was spiritual and mystical along with aligning the body with mind and soul.

In western philosophy, the current approach to mindfulness is to attain a heightened state of mental awareness. It is employed to focus the disarrayed mind and reduce negativity. It reduces stress and improves physical health. Breathing exercises make the person calm and increase self-control.

Many thoughts and feelings arise in the minds of patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. As patients get anxious as they are uncertain about their life, mindfulness can help them release the negative feelings and fill their lives with hope and positivity.

Here are some basic activities to practice mindfulness for cancer patients: –

  • Noticing the trivial: we do somethings without being aware of them like hearing the phone ring. Start noticing the ordinary things and try to find peace in them to feel the present without worrying about the next minute.
  • Choosing one daily activity for mediation: Break your day into small segments and be aware of what you do in that segment. You should be aware of the feeling or stimuli that is triggered by that particular exercise. It may as simple as brushing your teeth and sensing the tingling from it.
  • Practising compassion: After getting diagnosed with such a deadly disease, people start to judge their past actions and keep blaming them for them. It should be avoided and the patient must be encouraged to live life to the fullest with kindness to self and others.

Feeling depressed and sad is a natural reaction and it is completely okay to feel this way. But instead of giving into the disease, people should fight with it and look forward to the future and possibilities it holds. Mindfulness can open that door for each one of the patients.