Cancer is one of the hardest diseases on the body. But it is just not the body it affects. The battle of treating cancer is a long one, and it can take a toll on one’s mental and emotional health.

A bright outlook in life plays a major role in how someone battles cancer.

But studies have shown that a positive attitude and environment is crucial for overall health. A bright outlook in life plays a major role in how someone battles cancer.

Researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center say that patients who had psychosocial issues such as anxiety, depression, low optimism, or lack of social support before a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) had a higher risk for hospital readmission and stayed longer when they were readmitted compared to those in better overall mental health.

The body responds to stress in a fight or flight manner. It releases stress hormones that increase blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar level. This is especially harmful for people dealing with cancer. There are evidences that suggest that psychological stress can affect a tumor’s ability to grow and spread. However, there is no evidence that management of stress improves survival chances.

Either ways, coping with stress and maintaining a positive outlook is important for faster recovery both physically and mentally.

Here are a few tips to help you cope with stress and maintain a positive outlook during your cancer battle:

  • Avoid negative self-talk: Sometimes, we are our biggest de-motivators. We want to feel better but we weigh ourselves down with negative self-talk, and because of that we are not able to feel better. It is a viscous cycle. It is important to break this cycle and recognize this pattern. The best thing to do is stay occupied with hobbies that you like. Reading, watching television, cooking, gardening or just spending time with friends can help you stay busy and happy.
  • Avoid negativity from others: Sometimes, those who don’t understand your illness may make some unkind or insensitive remarks. It is not possible to control what they say, but your response to them can be controlled. Voice your concerns if any, and remove yourself from a negative situation.
  • Seek help: People dealing with cancer also need a lot of emotional support. It is better to get counselling to learn coping mechanisms to deal with the physical and emotional turmoil you may be facing.
  • Indulge in physical activity: It is important to get some physical exercise every day, even if you are still recuperating. Fresh air brings fresh perspective and a positive outlook towards life. Try to go for walks but don’t tire yourself. Eat right and exercise every day to heal faster.

By focusing on the positives instead of the negatives, one can build resilience and keep the mind healthy. Positive thinking is the key to leading a happy and healthy life.

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