Healing - Emotional
HEALING - Emotional
I have to say I’ve struggled with this a little. Can your mood or state of mind really make a difference to your physical well-being? I have typically disregarded this, and anything spiritual as a little bit of mumbo jumbo.
That is until I have started reading more and more on the subject. Now I have seen the science behind this, I get it. And I sincerely believe in the mind body spirit connection. While this is “the norm” in Eastern culture, there is so much evidence now that the doctors and institutions in the West are now promoting this as an important factor in combatting chronic illness.
I won’t go into the science here, but check out these publications;
Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer, Chris Woollams
Radical Remission, Kelly Turner
Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life, David Servan-Schreiber
However, trying to create a positive, stress free, and calm state of mind when you have incurable cancer is not easy. In fact, it’s almost impossible. Some of the things I try and do;
Live in the now. Seriously, I try not to project forward too far. The maximum “future” I work with is 3 months simply because that is the typical chemo regime. I plan on two-week cycles in line with the chemo treatment and make sure I have enjoyable stuff in the diary. Due to the diet I try and have one “naughty” event per week, which for me usually involves eating and drinking.
I’ve started to meditate – at the moment it’s just for 10 minutes a day. It helps create some sort of inner calm
I’m doing yoga, as I mentioned in my exercise section. And while it is fantastic for physical well-being, it seems to really help me mentally – I just feel much calmer.
Even using some of the techniques above, I really struggle to manage stress. Although I’m not sure having cancer has changed that much – I’ve always been poor with it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and in my opinion, a bit anal. I like things to be done a certain way. I tended to manage it through drinking and smoking – which I have no doubt hasn’t exactly helped my health. I sopped the fags about six years ago, but the eating increased!
So, I try and keep calm, accepting that I can’t control everything. I’m reading as much as I can on how to manage stress, how to relax. I’m learning how to say nothing when I would normally react, doing what I can to “be more Dalai Lama”, as my youngest son often reminds me as I re-stack the dishwasher, while moaning under my breath as to why people can’t put plates neatly in a kitchen appliance!
The reality is quite simply that what could possibly be that bad to cause stress? I mean under the circumstances, as long as my family has their health, what on earth could create a problem? Right? This is a work in progress, if anyone has any tips please let me know.
But I maintain a generally positive mental attitude. I just conclude that negative energy is wasted energy. What’s the point of being miserable? What possible good can it deliver, specifically when I believe in the science that clearly shows that positive thoughts like laughter, love, kindness, and a sense of purpose generate chemicals in the body that help the healing process
I’m trying to find that inner peace, some sort of contentment. Once again, there are some techniques to help here, very well highlighted in the book Radical Remission by Kelly Turner. One such exercise is the releasing of suppressed emotions. It has been very cathartic to go back over my life to analyse moments that have either created pain, and also joy. The key here is simply about recognising these emotions, and then letting them go; it’s all about the flow of emotion through the mind and body.
Another common topic among cancer survivors is to have a strong desire to live. It is so important to find that sense of purpose and can be as simple as being there for your children. I also need to have plans and goals for the future – I’ve mapped my life out to around the age of 80!!
Another great publication and certainly one to read to help with a positive outlook is from Bowelbabe – Deborah James
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Please help Matt in fighting this shit disease. Excuse the pun!