Emotional wellness plays an important part in shaping your cancer experience by finding ways to help you deal with your emotions healthily. We know it can be a tough decision to seek care that can feel daunting and trigger feelings like sorrow, fear, rage, or Anxiety. Such feelings can be especially overwhelming or frustrating because they might be new and you have encountered before, unlike everything.
It is never easy to hear you have cancer. Throughout your treatment, you may experience a rollercoaster of emotions such as terror, worry, depression, anxiety, and frustration.
How to Cope With Cancer
- Be an advocate for yourself : Learning about your disease, the diagnosis process and the treatments available is significant. Search for accurate, relevant information and speak to others to help you make informed choices and take the right steps you know. This will help to inspire you and relieve some of the negative feelings that go with cancer.
- Recognize your feelings : Thinking through your cancer feelings can be beneficial because they can influence how you see yourself, your perceptions, actions and your life as a whole. Knowing what emotions you feel will help you to determine why you feel that way, and how to cope with it better.
- Share your feelings : Research have shown that expressing anxieties and worries with others helps to emotionally support patients. Chat to friends and relatives, or express thoughts in a newspaper or artwork.
- Turn to spirituality : Silent prayer, meditation, contemplation or turning to a religious leader’s guidance could help you find peace and strength through your spirituality and faith.
- Get help and support : When you feel tired, nervous, anxious or depressed about your situation, do not underestimate the value of finding support.
Managing Stress and Fear
Cancer is painful, almost without a doubt. Moreover, you might have new worries or need to make more decisions right when you think you have got your Stress level under control. Try to note when this happens: Stress is a natural reaction to what I am going through right now. It will then take some time to identify the causes of Stress and establish techniques to help mitigate them. Emotional wellness helps in finding ways to reduce Stress which will improve your physical and emotional well-being.
Not all cope in the same way with pain, Depression, Anxiety, or other negative emotions. Your coping style may have helped you cope very well. Additionally, you may find your old ways of coping do not work and you need to learn new skills. In general, it is safer and healthier to use an aggressive coping strategy than attempting to solve the problem.
Active Ways to Cope
Take action to get rid of the problem
- Plan how to deal with the problem
- Look for advice and information to deal with the problem
- Look for sympathy and emotional support
- Accept that the problem exists and decide what you can and cannot control
- Try to get a new perspective by making the best of the situation
- Become aware of your feelings about the problem and express them to others
Using Avoidance to Cope
- Deny that the problem exists
- Withdraw from social experience
- Avoid any thoughts about the problem
- Wishful thinking
- Use drugs or Alcohol to forget the problem
- Blame and criticize yourself for the problem
- Keep extra busy and ignore the problem
Reaching Out For Support
- There are many people and resources to help you cope with your diagnosis and treatment for your emotional wellness. You can reach out to:
- Family and Friends: They may be helpful, such as helping with housework, keeping you company, or having another listening ear at doctor’s appointments. Only be honest when they ask if they can help. Do not take for granted they know what you need.
- Health Care Team: They will help you manage the side effects, answer your questions and guide you to the services available to the community. Should not hesitate to converse with them.
- Cancer Support Groups: Community groups put together cancer-bearing people to support each other through the process. The ZenOnco.io cancer support community has an online support community called Love Heals Cancer.
- Spiritual Advisors: Most people turn to their spiritual side to help them get their cancer healed. Spiritual assistance may include a church, a synagogue, meditation or just a quiet spot. Reading, talking to others and reaching out to others in a spiritual environment can be helpful in bringing you peace and energy. Persons with cancer who have a religious background may need to speak with a representative of their religion to address the difficult issues that occur, and to be reassured that having questions and becoming angry are natural reactions to cancer.
- Cancer Programs and Resources: Several organisations, hospitals, associations and individuals have developed various services and tools to help cancer-affected people and their loved ones get information about cancer, cope with their emotions and mitigate problems.
- Assess your life: Several survivors claim they had a wake-up call about their cancer and a second chance to make life what they want it to be. Answer some difficult questions about yourself. Am I happy, really? Should I delay stuff I find important to me? You will note that the responses to these and other questions can help determine what is most important to you.
- Giving back: For others, helping others reach out helps them and you find value in their cancer experience.
- Support searching: Community-based groups such as the Cancer Support Group will help you interact in a similar situation with others. A trusted member of the clergy or a qualified advisor may help you answer concerns about the meaning of life.
- Keep a journal: Write down your thoughts about what gives meaning to your life now.
- Life review:Thinking about or writing the past of your life will shed some light on what has been achieved and what needs to be done.
- Meditate or pray: Allowing yourself to sit still will help to build the mental space and perspective that will encourage you to answer your questions about the meaning of life.