Benefits of Mindfulness for Cancer Patients

Whenever any individual is diagnosed with cancer, their mind goes into a whirl and they get caught in a vortex of thoughts – the things they think about are – What’s going to happen in the future? Am I going to die and who will care for my family? etc. It’s true that all of these are very relevant and monumental questions. As a result of which, most cancer patients tend to become extremely depressed & anxious – and this anxiety continues even when their treatment is over.

The one way to combat all these issues is to incorporate mindfulness meditation into their daily lives. And this fact is based on a solid research being conducted by researchers in many different countries.

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What are mindfulness techniques?

Mindfulness-based therapies such as meditation exercises, yoga as well as various other psychological techniques can be helpful to cancer patients. Regardless of whether a person is a cancer patient or not, it’s very common for our attention to be frequently occupied with speculation, self-reproach and worries. When you are mindfully attentive and more aware of the moment-to-moment experience, this becomes the complete opposite of the above.

When a person goes through any form of mindfulness training, it makes him/her far less judgemental towards their own bodies, emotions, thoughts as well as other people. This exercise also helps direct the person’s attention away from the constant worrying and negative thinking.

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The various exercises included in it

Mindfulness exercises include:

  • Various sitting meditation practices that focus on the entire body and breathing, as well as ambient thoughts and sounds. The entire objective of this is to get rid of all the distractions and redirect thoughts to the present.
  • There are some walking meditation exercises where the patients walk even while being very attentive to all the sensations of that movement as well as other experiences including sound and breathing.
  • It includes a certain amount of informal training as well. This could be things like being aware of the regular actions you perform, such as brushing your teeth etc

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Mindfulness – the benefits

  • These techniques help the person divert their attention away from all the speculation and worries, which tend to make them anxious and depressed.
  • This type of therapy incorporates 2 programs – MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) and MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). While many patients are prescribed anti-depressants to help them deal with these psychological issues, these drugs have side-effects and they are extremely expensive too. This is what makes mindfulness meditation even more relevant.
  • Research has shown very positive effect and this therapy can be used to prevent the relapse of depression in cancer patients. Today, these research findings are extremely solid and there is a distinct possibility that health authorities in various countries will commence implementing & recommending mindfulness-based therapies in different clinical oncology settings.
  • These mindfulness techniques help the person tolerate various negative states. They present the patients with a range of challenging situations and they are able to relate to these with a greater amount of kindness, tolerance and acceptance.
  • Patients are able to get much better at tolerating the unpleasant bodily sensations, upsetting emotions and thoughts.

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Look for a qualified therapist

If all these mindfulness exercises have to be helpful, they have to be performed correctly. This also means you have to learn them from a qualified therapist and there aren’t many of those out there.

For any more information about how mindfulness meditation can help you, call New Body Physiotherapy and Postural Management at this number – 02 9958 2277. You can also use this contact us form to connect with us.

Best Regards,
Corey Iskenderian