Prepare For A Cancer Battle: The Mental Fight

How to mentally prepare for cancer battle

The cancer journey is one filled with many appointments, tests, prescriptions, protocols and procedures directed by the scientific method. All of this is focused on fighting a physical enemy. However, there’s an potential unseen enemy that can strike any cancer patient. That potential enemy which can affect almost anyone at almost any time is one’s own mind.

A study by the American Cancer Society shared that “In our observational study, we found people who found feelings of transcendence or meaningfulness or peace reported feeling the least physical problems.” 

Yes, our minds can be one of our most powerful weapons in a cancer battle, or one of our harshest enemies.  The surprisingly simple truth is that we can choose to use it as a weapon or allow it to be an enemy. The mind is a powerful thing as you’re fighting cancer, so it’s important that we mentally prepare for the our physical battle. 

So, how do we prepare to fight cancer with mental strength?  Here are a few suggestions to get us going in the right direction, whether we’re facing cancer, another ailment, or simply a hard day at the office:

  1. Focus on hope. Hope is essential and it can be one the thing that helps you stay positive. Look for signs of hope everywhere, even if it’s outside of your own circumstance. Remind yourself of times when hope helped in the past. Let hope be present daily, even if circumstances in the moment are difficult.
  2. Be realistic. Being realistic doesn’t mean you aren’t being positive. You can have hope, and yet accept that there are some aspects of the cancer battle that simply are hard. You may experience pain and struggle. Think hard about and utilize your coping strategies so that you can stay hopeful in the midst of it. 
  3. Focus on your purpose. Is there something greater that can come out of your cancer journey?  We all have a “why” behind what we do in life and if we can focus on the bigger journey and greater purpose, we can know that our present circumstances are not in vain. 
  4. Pray and/or Meditate. This may look different to each person, but by quieting your our minds and focusing on the right things, with prayer and meditation, you we can make great strides. The effort required to set aside regularly the quiet moments for this can be significant, but it can help tremendously.
  5. Surround yourself with encouraging people. Who is on your team? Are they lifting you up or filling you with worry? Are they helping your move forward or helping you live in fear? Be intentional about what voices you choose to listen to.
  6. Take a digital break. Sometimes Dr. Google and the highlight reel on social media is the last thing you need. Taking a hiatus from the digital world can do you wonders and help your mind focus on your own present circumstance. 

The mind is a powerful thing and can make or break us when walking through cancer or our daily lives. While you might not find value in all of the things above, and you might have a few things to add to the list, my hope is that you find ways that work for you to protect and utilize your mind. Let’s focus on having a healthy mental outlook today!

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