In the face of a cancer diagnosis, many mixed emotions are aroused that we may not even be aware of. Guilt, anger, rage, despair, terror and anxiety are among the many emotions that cancer could awaken in both the patient and their loved-ones, but often times they never come to the surface.
Indeed, we often repress them, because we must be or at least appear strong, and expressing those emotions would only make us appear weak. But repressed emotions are like a pressure-cooker; if you don’t let the steam out it will eventually burst out in a sort of explosion, which is more damaging.
Therefore, it is important to check in with yourself from time to time and release any emotional load you might have accumulated.
Step 1: SELF-AWARENESS
This is where mindfulness comes in. The goal is to notice what is happening within your body, accept it, and feel it fully, without censure.
Through mindfulness, you bring those feelings and emotions to the surface where they can be exposed and analyzed:
~ Sit still for few minutes with your eyes closed. Listen to your body and become curious.
~ What does your body feel like right now? Do you feel tightness or pressure? How is your overall energy level? Do you feel drained or lifeless?
~ Focus on those feelings and try to uncover their roots. Ask yourself, “What is causing me to feel that way?”
Step 2: EXPRESSION
Remember that e-motion is energy in motion, and therefore emotions involve the build-up of some energy that must be pushed out. Emotions can only be handled one way and that is through its expression.
Without trying to control it, let that energy burst out in whatever shape it takes, be it crying, yelling, or kicking a pillow, just let it go.
Emotions are like a storm, once it passes everything becomes quiet and peaceful.
Step 3: RESET
Now, it is time to hit the reset button. You rid yourself of this negative energy that was weighing on you and now you feel lighter and your thoughts are clearer and more organized.
Taking a short nap at this stage is always a good idea to help your body and mind heal and re-energize.
Checking in with yourself on a regular basis and practicing mindfulness will help you recognize this build up of negative energy early enough to take action.