What are some of the key ingredients to a positive outcome while battling cancer?
• Resilience: Bouncing back and the desire to continue fighting are important elements for those fighting cancer. Whether you’re born with resilience or develop it, this drive will help you survive.
• Achieving peace: Learning how to stay in the present moment and not being overwhelmed by grief or worry are essential.
• Having faith: Regardless of your religious denomination or beliefs, having some type of faith or spirituality goes far during a battle with cancer.
• Recognizing the importance of support: Having a strong support system of family, friends, neighbors and other cancer survivors is an important element of surviving cancer.
• Hope and optimism: These two elements, in fact, are actually associated with better adjustment and growth.
How can I develop resilience and other positive traits?
- Recognize there are some things in life that are simply out of your control.
- Attempt to manage, not control, situations.
- Find ways to realize what you can manage. For instance, focus on what your experience can teach you instead of the fact that you’re unhappy about the experience itself.
- Identify what causes you stress and find ways to manage these factors.
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What are ways to recognize stress in anyone?
- Sleep difficulties
- Irritability and moodiness
- Difficulty concentrating
How can I manage my stress?
- Surround yourself with supportive people.
- Talk with people who you share things in common with. Often, cancer survivors will reach out and speak to other cancer survivors.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get professional help, if necessary.
Are there other suggestions for dealing with challenging situations?
- Employ stress management techniques, as outlined above.
- Learn coping mechanisms. Meditation, for example, is a great coping mechanism that can be used by everyone, from individuals dealing with health concerns to those frustrated by rush hour traffic.
- Use the technique of redirecting. Instead of viewing a situation as stressful, focus on adjustment and growth through gratitude, acceptance, and purpose.
What you can learn from cancer survivors:
- Cancer survivors recognize there was a unique lesson to learn from their experience.
- Overall, survivors experience a renewed vigor for life.
- Survivors recognize it’s not worth it to sweat the small stuff in life.
- They experience deeper relationships with those who supported them.
Regardless of where you are in life, there are valuable lessons you can learn from cancer survivors and their journey through treatment. From the importance of hope and optimism, to stress management techniques and useful coping mechanisms, cancer survivors provide an arsenal of tools for you to use in your daily life, for any challenging situation that life throws your way.
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