Breast Cancer and Coping With Stress (cont.)
In this Article
- What Causes Stress Among Breast Cancer Patients?
- How Can I Reduce Stress?
- How Can I Learn To Relax?
- What Are Some Effective Relaxation Exercises?
- How Do I Keep Track Of My Medical Information?
- What Types Of Help Are Available?
- What If I Become Unable To Make Decisions About My Health Care?
- Should I Write A Will?
- What Should Family Members And Friends Keep In Mind?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What Are Some Effective Relaxation Exercises?
Two-minute relaxation. Switch your thoughts to yourself and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly. Mentally scan your body. Notice areas that feel tense or cramped. Quickly loosen up these areas. Let go of as much tension as you can. Rotate your head in a smooth, circular motion once or twice. (Stop any movements that cause pain.) Roll your shoulders forward and backward several times. Let all of your muscles completely relax. Recall a pleasant thought for a few seconds. Take another deep breath and exhale slowly. You should feel relaxed.
Mind relaxation. Close your eyes. Breathe normally through your nose. As you exhale, silently say to yourself the word "one," a short word such as "peaceful" or a short phrase such as "I feel quiet." Continue for 10 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently remind yourself to think about your breathing and your chosen word or phrase. Let your breathing become slow and steady.
Deep breathing relaxation. Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breath into that spot and fill your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow breath out, you should feel more relaxed.
How Can I Make My Life Better?
The most important step you can take is to seek help as soon as you feel less able to cope. (See "What Types Of Help Are Available?" below.) Taking action early will enable you to understand and deal with the many effects of your illness. Learning to manage stress will help you maintain a positive physical, emotional, and spiritual outlook on life.
How Do I Keep Track Of My Medical Information?
- Do not be afraid to ask your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider to repeat any instructions or medical terms that you don't understand. Your healthcare providers should always be available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
- Make use of resources and support services offered by your hospital and in the community. Learning more about your disease will help you feel more comfortable with your treatment.
- Ask your family and friends to help you sort through the information you receive.
- Talk with other patients and families about breast cancer and its treatment.
Find support and advances in treatment.