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Cancer Support: Dealing With Emotions and Fears - Topic Overview

Building resilience continued...

Part of resilience is how you think. Your mind can have a positive or negative effect on your body. Negative emotions, such as worry and stress, can cause tense muscles and pain, headaches, and stomach problems. But having a positive outlook on life might help you better handle pain or stress than someone who is less hopeful.

Here are some tips for building resilience:

  • Accept that things change. Try to look at change as a challenge rather than a threat. You can't change what happens, but you can change how you feel about it.
  • See the big picture. Try to look for things to learn. Difficult or emotional situations can teach you about yourself.
  • Seek out interactions with people who make you feel better. Develop a support network.
  • Take good care of yourself. Take time to do things that you enjoy. Find ways to relax your mind and body.

Dealing with anxiety

Worry and distress may feel like they're taking over your life. But there are many things you can do to lower your anxiety and feel better. Pick one or two to try today.

  • Write. Start a journal. Writing about things that are bothering you may help you deal with your feelings.
  • Let your feelings out. Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. Talking with friends, family, a counselor, or a member of the clergy about your feelings is a healthy way to relieve stress.
  • Exercise. Brisk walking and other forms of exercise, such as yoga or tai chi and qi gong, can help release pent-up emotions.
  • Try guided imagery. Guided imagery helps you use your imagination to take you to a calm, peaceful place. You can actionset.gif do guided imagery on your own. Or you can do it with audio recordings, an instructor, or scripts to lead you through the process.
  • Practice gratitude. "Be thankful" might seem like strange advice when you're facing cancer. But gratitude is linked to your sense of well-being, and it can boost the inner strength that helps you bounce back. It works by shifting your attention to the positive things in your life. To practice gratitude, you say "thanks" and you appreciate what's important to you.
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