Another Ask BR: Does Crying & Worrying Make Cancer Worse?
A lot of people with a diagnosis of cancer worry that if they’re not being upbeat and “positive” 24/7, they’ll make their disease worse. So, they put themselves into an emotional straight-jacket, trying (and failing) to orchestrate their mood and control their feelings. On the contrary, knowing and expressing true feelings does not make people sicker. When we match up in what we think, feel, say and do, our energy is aligned and we have more personal power to tackle our challenges.
Here’s the question:
A friend recommended you to me. I was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and am undergoing chemotherapy. Is there a specific guided imagery series you would recommend?
Even though the medical team is optimistic about the outcome, I can't seem to get the negative thoughts out of my head and find myself frequently crying uncontrollably.
I have been on anti-depressants for many years. I have had one session with a psychologist so far.
I do work so that distracts me most of the time, but my own outlook is more pessimistic than optimistic.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Hello, Roz. Belleruth here.
I’m sorry you have to deal with a diagnosis of lung cancer. No matter how optimistic a person is, that’s scary news to hear.
I do have a couple of audios to recommend, but first I’d like to make a suggestion about how you go about listening to them.
Try not to approach this as something to help you consciously, deliberately and effortfully change your mind or your attitude. Don’t work at it. Just play the imagery or affirmations – while you’re folding laundry, cooking dinner, falling asleep or driving (in the case of the affirmations).
Let the positive shifts sneak up on you, in whatever way your unconscious mind deems best (because often that part of the mind knows stuff that we consciously don’t). Your job is to press PLAY! ????. Often!
And don’t worry about the fact that you’re crying intensely. I know some oncology patients think, “Oh, no, I’m having negative feelings, I’m making my health worse!”
*Not* true! Expressivity is good. If you feel like crying, cry. It’ll pass and it won’t hurt you.
If you feel discouraged, helpless, frightened, angry, self-pitying, envious, regretful, guilty – any and all of it – just feel it, notice it, and let those feelings leave when they want to – you can also watch them go and get replaced by something else. Don’t worry when they come back. They will. But they’ll leave again.
I’d recommend our affirmations (https://www.healthjourneys.com/affirmations-for-mind-body-spirit/) – you can play them anywhere and anytime, and you don’t have to worry about driving into a guard rail, because you’re in an altered state.
I’d also recommend the affirmations track on the Chemotherapy imagery (https://www.healthjourneys.com/a-meditation-to-help-you-with-chemotherapy/). If you prefer a man’s voice guiding you, Emmett Miller has some powerful chemo and immune system imagery (https://www.healthjourneys.com/optimizing-chemotherapy/). And maybe our Healthful Sleep (https://www.healthjourneys.com/a-guided-meditation-for-healthful-sleep/) for when you’re falling asleep at night or before a nap.
You can check out the sound samples on the page to see if they suit you. Over time, this process can make a surprising dent on attitude.
Best wishes and kindest regards,