Stress Management for Cancer Patients

Having cancer can have a significant negative impact on the mental health of cancer survivors. The prevalence of stress-related disorders is much more in cancer patients when compared to the general population. Therefore, doctors and caregivers must create an environment that makes the survivors feel comfortable and ease out their stress.

Getting diagnosed with cancer can put up a lot of physical, mental, and financial burden on patients and caregivers. There are tremendous advancements in medical science, people still fear the forthcoming challenges and pain when it comes to a disease like cancer. Though cancer is very much treatable, the anticipation of things could make it worse. Avoidance should also not be there, especially when you or someone you know is going through a disease like cancer as it may lead to an even worse situation but stress can be minimized if we collectively can make an environment that is inclusive and supportive of every individual.

Often, this phase of stressing out could start even before the person is diagnosed with the disease as they may start developing physical changes in their body. Therefore, it is referred to as the recognition phase. After recognition, some seek immediate medical attention while some avoid the symptoms fearing it. The possible reason for this avoidance could be mental stress or financial cost that may arise after the occurrence of the disease.

Cancer patients may suffer from anxiety, cognitive impairment, depression, lack of concentration and motivation, excessive worrying, or increased irritability, all of these factors collectively contribute to stress. But this psychological burden can be managed by following certain practices. Some of those practices are:
Exercise – Light exercise or physical activity always lifts your mood. It is known to improve mental and physical well-being. Therefore, it’s advisable to indulge in light physical activities as it reduces fatigue, increases energy and strength, and brings down depression and anxiety.

Meditation and Yoga – Meditation and yoga are extremely beneficial when it comes to mental health. Unlike other activities that impart strength and energy from outside, meditation helps to build inner strength, the strength that helps you fight against diseases like cancer.

Meditation creates a positive aura inside the body, the aura that reduces anxiety, stress, and depression. It also enhances cognitive functioning, emotional well-being vis-a-vis reducing pain severity and sleep disturbances.

Psychotherapy – Psychotherapy is a type of counseling for the treatment of emotional, psychological, or behavioral disorders. The process involves an expert that establishes a relationship with the patients through discussion over several things and brings out factors that may have caused the harm. After identification, s/he will help you modify the existing causes promoting personality growth.

The entire process can help cancer patients in managing their psychological burden, improving their quality of life. Some of the psychotherapies are supportive therapy, cognitive therapy, and interpersonal behavioral therapy.

Spend quality time with friends and family – It’s always great to talk things out with your friends and family as it eases stress and lifts your mood. Therefore, whenever you feel like talking, do not hesitate to approach them. It is also believed that emotional strength from your close ones can significantly improve that quality of life in cancer patients.

Engage in cancer support networks – Try engaging yourself in a strong social support network to be aware of the fact that you are not fighting it alone. There are others as well who are fighting the same battle. Being aware will ease out your stress as you can discuss things with them which will boost your energy and allow you to manage the issues in a calm way.

At CBCC Cancer Care, we have a specialized team for treating cancers. If the problem persists, consult with our experts now.

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