Emotional health or emotional well-being also called Emotional wellness; is an individual’s ability to control and handle their emotions and the different experiences they go through in life. The National Center For Emotional Wellness defines emotional wellness as “an awareness, understanding and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.” Emotional wellness is all about how you feel, How you accept and acknowledge them, how you exhibit them, and how you manage them in a certain way that helps control your cancer treatment and recovery.
Why is it important?
Anger, stress, panic, agitation, and anguish can all directly affect you and your relationships. You may always think about how to deal with these constant feelings disturbing you. In fact, sometimes, you can find it very difficult to open up about these topics with your family and friends. You will need help, and it is normal to find help during these circumstances but are unsure how to ask for it. All these responses and mind fluctuations can arise at any point in your cancer experience.
Improving emotional wellness can benefit in things like :
- It makes you more conscious about your feelings
- Helps you to learn and understand how to panic less and be more hopeful
- It helps to handle stress better and improves your mental and emotional health
- Makes you understand the importance of connections and helps to manage family and friends relationships
- It allows you to open up about your feelings
- It allows you to accept yourself and encourages you to ask for help.
How to improve your emotional wellness?
- Keep a record and monitor your feelings. Also, note down everything on a book of how you are feeling emotionally. If writing is difficult, you can also track any pictures, sketches, or any kind of music that helps you express what you are going through.
- Open up about how you are feeling and things you are experiencing with your loved ones. It is sometimes easier said than done as you could think that it can become a burden for your family, but it is very critical to talk to someone you really trust. You can also find a support group or any emotional wellness coach.
- Educate yourself with self-care practices such as mindfulness meditation and conscious breathing practices. Mindfulness meditation is a practice that teaches you to be more aware and helps you stay in the moment. Conscious breathing helps you reduce stress, anxiety, and lack of energy. It can also reduce tension, help you stay focused on the present, and cut down future thinking that can cause a lot of stress for cancer patients and cancer survivors. Sometimes, even simple breathing techniques like pranayama can help improve fatigue, anxiety, depression, and the side effects of cancer.
- It becomes essential to tell your medical practitioner about your feelings—That’s one of the most crucial steps. The medical practitioner and your health care team will introduce ways so you can have the best quality of life possible. Open up to them about the emotions you are going through before, during and after treatment. Your medical practitioner and the health care team can also recommend you to supportive counselling, and if required, they can examine and help you with anxiety and depression.
- Look for individual counselling with an expert. There are plenty of professional social workers, doctors and psychologists who can help you with the intense emotions you are going through. It is essential to find a counsellor that you can open up and be comfortable with and someone with experience working with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.
- Connect with a support group. It can also be a virtual meeting. Take part in those group gatherings going through similar phases, which can help you feel less lonely and provide help in a safe and supportive environment. If you are joining a support group for the first time, just make sure a professional counsellor is a part of it and is taking charge.
The Influence of Poor Emotional Wellness
In many ways, not working through life with a positive attitude and emotional state can lead to bad outcomes, mainly because a negative emotional state is stressful and a wrong place to be in; hence here are some examples:
- Low immunity levels: Stress has the ability to weaken the immune system drastically.
- Hypertension: Stress that lasts long can also worsen the blood pressure
- Increased illness: Stress can affect everything from heart problems to psychiatric issues
- Relationship issues
- Mind fluctuations that cause trouble in concentrating
- Difficulties at work.
Self Evaluation Questions
- How do I feel on my emotional level?
- What can I do to reduce my stress, anger, depression and sorrow?
- Is there anyone I know who has had cancer who can recommend me to a support group or any professional counsellor if I need help in handling my feelings and mental difficulties?
- What help will I need from my family and friends during my treatment and recovery?
- How much will it cost for my treatment and recovery for standard medication? How much will it cost for my complementary medicine?
Questions for your medical practitioner or your health care team?
– How long should I expect to feel sad, anxious, nervous, depressed, and what do I need to do to cope with those feelings?
- Are there any support groups or private counsellors who can assist me?
- Is it safe for me to engage in sexual activity, and are there any types of sexual activity that I should avoid?
- What can I do to reduce or limit the amount of stress I’m experiencing?
With specially designed and personalised programmes, ZenOnco.io can assist cancer patients in attaining emotional and spiritual wellness. With the help of therapy and personalised programmes that provide support and also teach cancer patients to tune in to their thoughts and feelings, develop an optimistic outlook, learn and understand more about stress management techniques, and also, most importantly, find acceptance and forgiveness for themselves, we can also assist patients in their pursuit for spiritual wellness by teaching them medication techniques, curiosity stimulation, training them to see obstacles as an opportunity and also helping them to see the bigger picture in life.
You can consult our Onco phycologists ZenOnco.io, The world’s first integrative oncology health care platform that makes quality integrative oncology cancer care accessible to all. All the emotional wellness programs are provided only after consultation and are based on what is required for the patient. Our In house Onco phycologists have had more than 10+ years of experience in the field.
About Zen – ZenOnco.io provides cancer patients with comprehensive care that includes both medical as well as a complementary treatment. Medical treatments can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. Complementary therapies can consist of an anti-cancer diet, Ayurveda, medical cannabis, etc. When in combination, these therapies can improve the quality of living and also increase the patient’s chances of cure.