I don’t think that there is a current cancer patient or cancer survivor who is not being affected by all that is happening in our country and world at this time. The pandemic kept everyone closed in and caused many situations of frayed nerves among those living in close confinement and unable to release their energy in the various ways that were normal for them. For those who were living alone, incredible loneliness had settled in with walls closing in and the sound of silence suddenly becoming deafening. Then there was the anxiety that came with lost jobs and income that made matters worse because people are unable to pay bills and even feed their families.
“And you will be grateful for the overall peace of mind and body that result when you are able to manage whatever stress may come your way, even in times like those that we are currently experiencing.”Barbara Jacoby
Then just as the economy was starting to open up again and people began to breathe a sigh of relief after several months of confinement, the protesting that turned into rioting and looting in so many cities across our country began. This new crisis has further destroyed our businesses and communities and our freedom as people are afraid to venture outside for fear of violence erupting around them.
Although we often come across information regarding how stress affects our lives, I don’t think that this particular topic gets enough attention. And no one could have forecasted what the current national events would have created for anyone let alone those in the cancer community and their support team members. But, one common factor that seems to be recurring in my search for a common factor that all possess is the amount of stress in their lives and how they deal with it.
You might be thinking that you can judge a person’s ability to deal with stress from the outside but, trust me, that is absolutely impossible. The way in which the person actually deals with stress is often totally different than what you see on the outside. Let me explain. We have all known people who appear so happy. They laugh a lot, are outwardly extremely friendly to everyone and regardless of what comes their way, they brush it off and just move along. However, if you ever have the chance to really get to the bottom of their feelings, you may find that they have taken all of their most stressful events and shoved them down inside to hopefully never have to deal with the pain again.
Such behavior not only increases the amount of stress on the body that the original trigger has already created but also stresses the body even further because it is not designed to deal with the great chemical imbalances that this creates. Therefore, it begins to harm the body through disease that manifests itself in any number of ways including all types of cancers. Regardless of the situation, if it creates stress for us, we must find a way to relieve that stress. While angry outbursts have been chosen by many and that may reduce the immediate stress, it does not teach us how to deal with stress that comes our way on a long-term or repeated basis. We must find a healthy outlet for our stress and find ways to take control of lives that will produce positive results.
Perhaps an immediate solution is to talk about it with someone who we trust. To just get out those feelings that were created by the stress in this way is often enough when the situation is not very big. But, for issues that are larger, you may need to walk away from the situation that you find yourself in, even when you can’t walk very far. For that, you may want to seek professional help in order to manage these situations in a way that does not cause you even more stress. But, no matter your situation, learning to deal with stress in a healthy way is not only beneficial to your mental well being, it is also one of the best things that you need to do in order to maintain a healthy body. And you will be grateful for the overall peace of mind and body that result when you are able to manage whatever stress may come your way, even in times like those that we are currently experiencing.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.