Leanne McMeechan, Lead Therapist with Beatson Cancer Charity explains how practising Mindfulness can help cancer patients deal with stress and anxiety before, during and after cancer treatment
Mindfulness practices have been recorded as far back to the early teachings of Buddha. It is a life skill reminding us to slow down and pay attention to what’s going on in the present moment. By doing this we can start to become more in tune with our body, our thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions in a non-judgemental way. Mindfulness is a skill and can be practiced in our everyday lives from washing the dishes, eating to walking.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation often recommended as a treatment for some people who experience common mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness is a useful practise which when used regularly can help manage your mental health and wellbeing generally but can be a particularly helpful tool when dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the stress and anxiety that can be experienced.
It’s important to maintain your mental health during cancer treatment, being positive is said to have a positive impact on recovery and mindfulness is one of the tools that can help you or a family member cope better with treatment, the day to day struggles of life and to approach the future.
Mindfulness takes its origins from Buddhist meditative techniques but it has now been incorporated into psychological therapies and stress reduction programmes.
Mindfulness can help modify attitudes and behaviours and may help you change the way you relate to things. People can benefit from mindfulness in various ways. It can help give better insight into emotions, can boost attention and concentration, and help improve relationships.
Mindfulness isn’t for everyone and initially might be a bit difficult to know if your “doing it right” or getting any benefit from it. There is evidence to suggest that regular practice can provide benefits to some people and with so many different ways to learn about it such as books, websites, apps etc. So why not give it a go!
See our Youtube channel for some guided meditations or try out Leanne's meditation below: