Meditation Helped Me Handle Fear of Cancer Recurrence


At first I was skeptical about how meditation and breathing techniques could help me with fear of cancer recurrence. But once I started practicing, I noticed a difference in my anxiety.

cartoon drawing of blogger and breast cancer survivor, Patti McGee

As a 20-year breast cancer survivor, I have experienced fear of cancer recurrence and the toll it can take on my mental health. However, through the practice of meditation and breathing techniques, I have been able to reduce my fear of recurrence and improve my overall well-being.

Meditation is a technique that involves focusing one's attention on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional stability. There are many different forms of meditation, and it commonly involves sitting in a quiet place and focusing on the breath. Breathing techniques, on the other hand, are exercises designed to control the breath and promote relaxation. I have found that by using a mindfold blindfold, I can focus more on my breathing and posture because it blocks out all light and allows me to open my eyes.

After completing my breast cancer treatment, I found myself constantly worrying about the possibility of the cancer returning. Every little ache or pain would send me into a panic, and I was constantly checking my body for any signs of recurrence. This fear of recurrence was taking a toll on my mental health, and I knew I needed to find a way to manage it.

That's when I discovered meditation and breathing techniques. At first, I was skeptical. How could something as simple as breathing and sitting still help me manage my fear of recurrence? But after just a few weeks of regular practice, I began to notice a difference. I was calmer, more relaxed and less anxious. I found that I was better able to cope with the fear of recurrence and the uncertainty of life after cancer.

I’ve learned that one of the most significant benefits of meditation and breathing techniques is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety. When I experience stress or anxiety, my body enters into a fight-or-flight response, which can cause a range of physical symptoms, including increased heart rate, rapid breathing and muscle tension. By practicing meditation and breathing techniques, I activate the relaxation response, which is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response. This response promotes a state of calmness and relaxation.

As a breast cancer survivor, I can attest to the power of meditation and breathing techniques in managing the fear of recurrence and improving overall well-being. While these practices may seem simple, they have been proven to have significant benefits for both physical and mental health. With regular practice, I have found that I am better able to cope with the uncertainty of life after cancer and experience a greater sense of calmness and well-being.

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