We all face numerous crossroads in our lives, but some are more difficult to face than others, and there’s no way you can brace yourself for the most challenging of them. One such life-altering experience that tends to shake you to your very core is getting diagnosed with cancer. Some say that it feels like living with a timebomb inside their own bodies, while others find it to be a liberating moment when they actually decide to live. In both scenarios, and every single possible one in between, your mind can play a pivotal role in how you deal with your diagnosis and the treatment that follows.
On one hand, the shallow notion of “being positive” seems like just another fortune cookie cliché, but on the other, this is especially when expanding on that idea of using positivity and mental strength and endurance matters most. For some, it can help them extend their lives, for others, it can do wonders for improving the quality of their lives, no matter how much they have left. If you, or your loved one, find yourself facing this diagnosis, perhaps addressing your mindset can be helpful in making the most of your time and your attitude to fight cancer and love your life every minute of every day.
Seek the possible to find hope
Facing a potentially terminal diagnosis means that your mind will most likely transition between “fight” and “flight” whenever you contemplate your future. If you let your mind dwell too long on the possible negative outcomes, even in cases when they are almost inevitable, you deprive your time of much-needed love, hope, and positivity necessary to not just fight this vicious disease, but to also fill your time with purpose and meaning.
As a simple, but effective method to help you in such moments of pure panic and pain, you can look for cancer survivor stories to face the immediate future of the illness and to recognize the possibility of hope. You can even find them in your own community and talk to people who have been in your shoes. You’ll know you’re not alone and that survival is more than extending your time on Earth, but more about infusing any time you have with meaning.
Professional help as your anchor
Managing your emotions in such turmoil can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to tell your loved ones and share the burden with them, then help your closest friends and family cope with the news, but you also need to face the daily struggles of battling cancer with treatments. Psychological counseling has become a norm in such situations, especially for patients with a potentially terminal diagnosis.
Much like you have a prescribed medical treatment for cancer itself, you should embrace the idea of psychological help during this difficult time. Regular sessions can help you face your reality, and in fact alter it so that you find more joy in seemingly little moments you experience every day.
Giving your life financial structure
Getting a cancer diagnosis feels as if you’ve been deprived of any control over your life. Some people decide against treatment, and they simply give in to the illness, against their doctor’s advice and suggestions. With regular counseling and ample support, you can actually create structure within your life to purposefully find more ways to defeat cancer, try different treatments, and invest in procedures, classes, and courses that can help you during that time.
For starters, you can be creative when saving money so that you can allocate the extra funds towards a yoga or meditation class, invest in healthier, organic foods, and medical treatments that show the most promise. Allowing your mind to focus on that structure in your life means that you will be as productive as possible, wasting little or no time on worrying and self-pity. Instead, you can use your creativity to find ways and infuse your existence with cancer-battling strategies and smart ways to invest in them.
Relieving stress one day at a time
On a more primal, chemical level, your body on stress needs to fight on two fronts: first there’s cancer, and then you have chronic stress which in turn causes chronic inflammation, and that’s just an avalanche of health troubles waiting to happen. That is why stress is considered one of the greatest culprits for cancer and one that can allow the disease to progress significantly faster.
To prevent such negative scenarios, in addition to being practical and frugal with your life, you need stress-relieving strategies that work specifically for you and your mindset. Some find empowerment in taking up martial arts, while others find joy in learning to sing or play an instrument. Whatever your outlet may be, it can help you balance your emotions and your energy through this stage in your life.
Your mind indeed plays a number of important roles in the fight against cancer. From helping you take a strategic stance, to rediscovering joy in your time in this world, your mindset and your attitudes can be your greatest allies or your greatest foes. Use your mind in this trying time, and you will discover its immense potential to help you overcome numerous challenges and boost your quality of life in the process.