You don't have to be recovering from cancer treatment to feel like your head might explode from stress.
But it does sometimes add that extra layer of anxiety and fear onto your already very busy “modern” life.
I’d like to clarify that it’s totally normal to feel anxious, especially if you’ve got appointments coming up, or you feel one of those unidentified pains or niggles.
But your mind can tend to run away with itself and I don’t mean to the sunny tropics, more like the cold, dark arctic - it’s its job to be a worrier!
So all that, on top of your normal to-do list, can have you some days constantly on the verge of bursting into tears in frustration (or punching someone in the face), whilst trying to hold it altogether with your “No, it’s all good in here” smile.
So here’s something to try, that has a surprisingly big impact on feeling more like “you” again.
Put your hands on your belly.
And take a deep breath. One so deep that your hands move, and your belly expands.
Then let it out (let it out with a sigh if that feels good).
Then take another breath. Right down deep.
And let it out.
Follow all the sensations of the breath coming in and out.
Keep doing that that for one minute.
Count how many deep belly breaths you do in one minute.
Remember that number.
This is your mindful minute.
Repeat this number of breaths in this way every time you feel your head, lower lip, or fist wobbling. Then do it a few more times for good measure.
You can do it in your car. On the couch. Walking the kids to school. Cooking dinner. At your desk. In a waiting room. With your eyes closed or open.
This my friend, is breathing. And its surprising how often we forget to do it!
You might not believe that something so simple can have such a big impact. But it does. Your body isn’t necessarily as complicated as your to-do list or your minds endless (and totally normal and to-be-expected!) worries about the future.
It takes in some pretty straight forward messages. So when you’re stressed you tend to breath high in your chest - much like a gazelle being chased by a nasty old Lion. Your body gets flooded with stress hormones so its ready to act, inflammation increases ready to repair injuries (which we now know can act like a fertiliser for any precancerous cells). And it makes you feel wobbly.
So sometimes we have to remind ourselves to breath like a big old buffalo rolling around in the mud. Our body gets the message and steps down, reduces its inflammation response, digests some food, switches to searching the body and killing any enemies like viruses and mutated cells that if aren’t destroyed can grow into cancer. Then it relaxes in the sunshine.
Oo doesn’t that feel better.
If you’ve finished cancer treatment recently, you might be noticing that moving forward isn’t as straight forward as you expected. Or the other important people in your life expected.
In fact it can sometimes feel like you’re standing on the edge of a void and the future is hazy, or blank, or just plain dark. That can feel scary.
I know because I’ve been there, but the good news is that you can take control back over your life and body again and I created Life 2.0 to show you how. The first Life 2.0 - how to live life after cancer treatment course finished last year, it was huge success and we’re planning more over the coming months. If you’d like to find out more then register your interest here.
Kathy who was on the last course gave me this feedback:
“This course has helped with my sleep and work life. I am happier, feel healthier and my energy levels have really picked up. Do it! It's definitely been productive in moving on after cancer for me.“
Until next time peeps, remember to breath!!!