In the UK, someone is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes. It’s a word you dread to hear, and it’s bound to bring you a lot of fear and worry.
Treating cancer can often be a rollercoaster. From appointments to side effects, it can quickly become overwhelming. While your body is fighting this horrible disease, your mind can suffer.
It might seem impossible to stay positive during this challenging time but don’t give up. Here are seven ways to stay positive during your cancer treatment.
1. Positive vibes only
The last thing you need during this challenging period is negative people bringing you down. You know those friends – their glass is always half empty, there’s always something to complain about, and the conversation always seems to come back to their lives and struggles. These kinds of people have no place during your cancer treatment.
Instead, you need to surround yourself with cheerful cheerleaders. The kinds of friends who go out of their way to cheer you up, make you smile, and always look on the bright side. This kind of positivity will be great for your mental health and could even rub off on you!
2. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but not many people know what it means. It’s often associated with self-care and can be great for people struggling with anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness is a practice or technique used to acknowledge what’s going on with your body, mind, and surroundings. It encourages you to recognize your emotions without judgment while noting how your body feels. Mindfulness is great for reminding people to get out of their heads into the present moment, checking in with their bodies and mind.
3. Let it out
Convincing yourself that the glass is half full can sometimes be challenging. You can’t always look on the bright side, and sometimes it’s better if you don’t.
Bottling up your feelings is just as bad as lingering negative thoughts. You need to allow yourself to grieve, cry, scream, and swear. Cancer doesn’t discriminate between “good” and “bad” people. It’s always unfair and unjust – and sometimes you need to cry. Don’t fear these emotions – you need to let them out.
4. Look to success stories
Although negative emotions have a place in your recovery, you can’t let them consume you. After you’ve had a cry and shout, it’s time to get back to thinking positively.
One way to pick your spirits up is to read, listen, or watch success stories. There are plenty of case studies out there for you to read. Look for people diagnosed with your cancer and listen to their stories. What treatment did they get? How did they stay positive? What helped them through? Hearing the success story of someone in your position is bound to boost your morale.
5. Join a support group
Another way to hear success stories is to join cancer support groups. These groups are designed to allow people with cancer to socialize and share experiences. These gatherings can be made for specific groups of people, such as specific age groups, genders, or types of cancer. Support groups can be led by peers or professionals.
These meetings are great for improving positivity as you’re surrounded by people who understand. You can share side effects, ask for advice on fertility treatment, or simply listen to others.
6. Get professional help
However, if you need an extra hand to stay positive, getting professional help is a great idea. Don’t be embarrassed to admit this; it takes a lot of courage to realize you need help.
Many cancer charities offer free counseling as part of their services, or you can go through your GP. But, if you’d rather find your own counselor, you can look online to find the perfect fit.
7. Focus on the present
Lastly, it’s important to focus on the present. A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of worry, anxiety, and stress. You’re worrying about the future, considering all outcomes, and understanding what each means.
However, you can’t waste time worrying about things to come. Instead, try your best to stay present at the moment and take one day at a time. Remember to breathe – you’ve got this.
Going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment is an extremely challenging time. Not only is this a challenge for your body, but it’s also difficult for your mental health.
Staying positive during this troubling time might seem impossible. However, you might feel more optimistic if you surround yourself with positive people, practice mindfulness, let your emotions out, and look to success stories. Plus, you can join a support group or seek professional help for further support. Overall, there are many options to help improve your outlook, so remember to look on the bright side.
You can do it!