Practice super mindfulness
Activities and therapies that help us manage stress, think positively, and feel good. These include building positive stories around illness and healing, doing mindfulness exercises, encouraging mindsets that help us grow, practicing meditation, receiving therapeutic counseling, using aromatherapy, and participating positive group support.
Stress is linked to nearly every major disease. No matter how healthy we are in other parts of our lives, uncontrolled stress can undo everything. Research shows that stress control techniques such as guided meditation, intentional breathing, acupuncture and yoga help us to manage stress and be more effective in the midst of stressful situations.
Childhood cancer parents are often under an enormous amount stress. And although for many parents the stress declines over time, for a significant portion, stress remains high well into survivorship. Finding healthy ways to manage stress and become more effective in the middle of stressful situations are keys to thriving during cancer treatment and into survivorship. Uncontrolled stress not only has an impact on our health as parents, but it can also negatively affect our children.
Almost nothing is as stressful as confronting a diagnosis of cancer for your child. The stress we feel in our bodies and minds is nature’s way of making us as alert and ready to act as possible. Waves of biochemicals prepare the body for a constant flight or fight response, which leads to loss of sleep, appetite dysregulation, chronic inflammation, irritability, poor decision making, emotional turbulence and more. Not only is unmanaged stress bad for our longterm health, but it hinders us from doing everything we can to help our kids thrive.
The most effect techniques for controlling stress that have been identified by researchers are:
1) Mindfulness meditation
2) Guided breathing exercises
5) Social Support
- Tara Brach, world-renowned teacher of meditation (hyperlink: http://www.tarabrach.com)
- Andy Puddicombe, meditation and mindfulness expert, voice of headspace.com (hyperlink: https://www.headspace.com/andy-puddicombe)
Watch this great TED Talk of Andy Puddicombe and check out his meditation app at headspace.com. Headspace has donated free subscriptions to Maxlove Project families, which you can access by signing up HERE.