Stress is a concern under any circumstance, but when it is caused by financial anxiety from cancer treatment, it can actually work against the progress that you are making in your treatment and recovery. Financial stress takes a toll on people who are healthy, and has been linked to depression, heart attack, hypertension and anxiety. Perhaps most concerning of all is the fact that it has been shown to have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the immune system, causing increased vulnerability to a number of viruses and infections and diminishing the impact of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy treatment.
Unfortunately, financial stress for cancer patients is all too common. No matter how good your health insurance may be, the costs of cancer treatment can quickly get out of hand and leave you uncertain as to how you are going to pay your bills, and all too frequently your illness can keep you from the very job that is supposed to be helping to keep the money flowing. With concerns about your health combined with money woes, it’s no wonder that so many cancer patients’ anxiety levels are so high.
The more financial stress you feel, the less likely you are to be able to think clearly and work on a solution, and the more likely you are to see and feel a negative physical impact from your anxiety. The good news is that there are a number of ways that you take back control of your emotions, and in doing so clear you head so that you can positively deal with your financial issues.
5 Tips for Overcoming Financial Stress from Cancer Treatment
- Stop Jumping into Future ThoughtOne of the biggest problems that people dealing with financial stress need to overcome is constantly jumping to conclusions about what the future will hold, and this is particularly concerning when you’re also dealing with cancer or any advanced illness. Just as your medical treatments are a step-by-step process, the same is true of your financial situation. Focus on what you can do today to improve things, and that will improve tomorrow as well.
- Work to Stay PositiveThe language that you choose to use and the mental attitude that you adopt both make a big difference in the way that you approach your problems. If you catch yourself sliding into negativity, stop, take a deep breath, and think about all of the things that are good in your life and that are going well. There are very few people in the world for whom absolutely everything is going right, and though you may be facing serious problems right now, you still have a lot to be grateful for. Focus on those things in order to reset yourself.
- If You Can Exercise, Do SoThere’s a lot to be said for the positive impact of physical activity. Exercise, even if it is moderate, releases powerful hormones in our body that are extremely effective at boosting our mood and reducing stress. Taking a walk outside in the fresh air, signing up for a yoga or Zumba class, or going for a swim will all clear your mind (as long as your doctor says it’s okay).
- Be Realistic
There are a lot of people who choose to handle stress by simply pretending that the problem isn’t there – but burying your head in the sand is not going to help. Just as you have to go through some challenging medical procedures as part of your cancer treatment, you have to face the reality of your financial situation in order to take the steps you need to correct it.
- Get Some SupportDealing with cancer is enough to cause tremendous stress for anybody, but when your health problems are compounded by financial concerns, the burden can quickly become overwhelming. Make sure that you are seeking help from friends, family members, spiritual advisors and even financial advisors. Not only will talking about your problems in a forthright way make you feel better, but you may find that the people in your life are able to point you in the direction of resources that you were not aware of, including the availability of life insurance loans that can eliminate your financial anxiety.