There has been a lot of research looking at “distress” in cancer survivors. One of the interesting findings that I read is that distress is closely linked with the ability to function. This means there are higher levels of distress in survivors who have more symptoms that keep them from functioning well. On the other side of that coin, survivors are less distressed when they are active. Research supports emotional and physical healing influence each other. “LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” Isaiah 33:2
Ok, what this means is the better you feel physically, the better you will feel emotionally. And vice versa. Most of us get support from our family and friends, which helps us mend emotionally. And some of need that extra help that comes from mental health professionals that offer support and strategies that assist adjustments, mood and learning to love the body we have now. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
It is also important to remember most cancer survivors have had a lot of bumps in the road while trying to recover. Talk to your doctor and get the best medical advice possible. Lean on your loved ones for support. Think about the millions of cancer survivors who are alive today, and try to let that be a comfort to you. Focusing on how you can function at a higher level will help you to thrive as a survivor. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Remember the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” included the scenes of meditation the and chanting, both yogic practices, this is what we are going to try to achievel. We want to find the calm that is deep inside us.
1. Pick a focus word , short phrase, or prayer that is rooted in your belief system. (Give God your weakness, and he will give you his strength)
2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Relax your muscles, processing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, neck and head.
5. Breathe slowly and naturally, and as you do, say your focus word, phrase, or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale.
6. Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how you are doing. When other thoughts come to mind, simply to say to yourself, “oh, well,” and gently return to your repetition.
7. Continue for 10-20 minutes.
8. Do not stand immediately. Continue to sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising.
9. Practice this technique once or twice daily.
When we start our day with a morning meditation, we are cultivating peace of mind and happier relationships where we are kinder and less judgmental of ourselves and others.
True peace of mind is always there, but we first have to let go of everything that obscures such calm and clarity — our confusion, our ruminating, our expectations, our inner chatter. When you achieve calmness and peace of mind with morning meditation, your perspective changes and you may start to feel more positively about yourself and your day ahead.
Meditation can be beneficial at any hour of the day, but there are benefits of a short morning meditation becoming as ingrained in your routine as a cup of tea or coffee . Mornings can be the best time of day to incorporate meditation because of their quiet nature, whereas afternoons are more likely to be hectic with ever-changing to-do lists.
As you practice this, you will feel more comfortable and your mind/body relaxation strategy will help you to become more powerful in helping you to heal.