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Emotional Wellness

Fostering Emotional Wellness Through Awareness

We know that pursuing treatment can be a difficult choice that may feel overwhelming, and bring feelings such as sorrow, fear, anger, or anxiety. These emotions can be especially confusing or difficult as they may be new, and unlike anything you have experienced before.

Building an accurate awareness of these emotions is an essential part of developing emotional wellness. Though it may seem difficult or even counterintuitive, one important way to build this awareness is to lean into, instead of pushing away, difficult emotions. When leaning into difficult emotions, we allow ourselves to temporarily experience them while at the same time know that they will fade away. As a result, instead of allowing fear to take over, we acknowledge the feeling of fear while keeping ourselves open to positive emotional experiences that often follow such as love, support, and determination to succeed and overcome.

With this mindset you can pursue other aspects of wellness, including a deeper understanding of your strengths and limitations. You will be able to build stronger, more meaningful relationships, all of which will help you cope with treatment stressors.


Ways to build Emotional Wellness at home:


Ways to build Emotional Wellness in the clinic:


Benefits of Pursuing Emotional Wellness?


Because of these direct results, cultivating emotional wellness may lead to direct medical benefits, including:

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References

1) Northouse L, Williams AL, Given B, et al. Psychosocial care for family caregivers of patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30:1227-1234.

2) Barnard A, Clur L, Joubert Y. Returning to work: The cancer survivor's transformational journey of adjustment and coping. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2016 Jan;11:32488.

3) Hoeck B, Ledderer L, Ploug Hansen H. Dealing with cancer: a meta-synthesis of patients' and relatives' experiences of participating in psychosocial interventions. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2017. Epub ahead of print.

4) Dekker J, Braamse A, Schuurhuizen C, et al. Distress in patients with cancer - on the need to distinguish between adaptive and maladaptive emotional responses. Acta Oncol. 2017. Epub ahead of print.

5) Walshe C, Roberts D, Appleton L, et al. Coping Well with Advanced Cancer: A Serial Qualitative Interview Study with Patients and Family Carers. PLoS One. 2017 Jan 20;12(1):e0169071.

6) Wagland R, Richardson A, Ewings S, et al. Prevalence of cancer chemotherapy-related problems, their relation to health-related quality of life and associated supportive care: a cross-sectional survey. Support Care Cancer. 2016;24:4901-4911.

7) Salamonsen A, Kiil MA, Kristoffersen AE, et al. "My cancer is not my deepest concern": life course disruption influencing patient pathways and health care needs among persons living with colorectal cancer. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016;10:1591-1600.

Working during chemotherapy:

1) Sun W, Chen K, Terhaar A, et al. Work-related barriers, facilitators, and strategies of breast cancer survivors working during curative treatment. Work. 2016;55(4):783-795. doi: 10.3233/WOR-162449.

Lifestyle changes:

1) Tsay SL, Ko WS, Lin KP. The Lifestyle Change Experiences of Cancer Survivors. J Nurs Res. 2016. Epub ahead of print.

Music:

1) Gutgsell KJ. A Music Therapist Shares Stories of Patients with Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2016 Nov 15;8(11).

Sexual Health - Women:

1) Huffman LB, Hartenbach EM, Carter J, et al. Maintaining sexual health throughout gynecologic cancer survivorship: A comprehensive review and clinical guide. Gynecol Oncol. 2016;140:359-368.

Created: March 31, 2017 Updated: April 22, 2017