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Anxiety and Stress Management Tips for Cancer Patients

Women doing yoga to reduce cancer anxiety symptoms

A cancer diagnosis typically comes with a significant amount of emotional distress with patients experiencing everything from sadness to anger to guilt to anxiety. With the link between anxiety and cancer being particularly well known, cancer patients anxiety symptoms include uncontrolled worry, trouble focusing, muscle tension, restlessness, and irritability.

Though this cancer-related anxiety can escalate to levels that require a professional’s care, there are many steps that patients can take to reduce more moderate anxiety symptoms at home.

Managing Cancer-Related Anxiety at Home

Sometimes, simply talking about your anxious feelings with a friend or family member can ease some of the tension. It can also be helpful to make a list of all the stressors in your life. Seeing the issues visually can make them feel more finite and less overwhelming. It can also help you formulate a plan for crossing things off the list gradually, instead of feeling unsure about what to tackle first.

Additional techniques for cancer patient stress management include meditation, prayer, and other types of spiritual support. Those who aren’t sure where to begin, can start with simple deep breathing and relaxation exercises. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax each body part one at a time, starting with your toes, as you picture a peaceful, natural scene. Use this method to pivot out of particularly stressful moments, while seeking more scheduled relaxation or meditation sessions to control your general state of being.

If you’re not sure how to begin meditating, search online for articles and videos like this one, which can help guide you through your initial sessions. If you start finding meditation helpful to managing your anxiety, consider joining a class to establish a routine and keep yourself accountable to the practice.

When to Seek Professional Care

If anxiety is impeding your ability to sleep, causing nausea or vomiting, or otherwise markedly interfering with your daily life, it may be time to seek professional care. Be aware of panic attacks, which can be any combination of heart palpitations, feelings of detachment or intense fear, chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, chills, dizziness, trembling, abdominal pain, or nausea.

Your cancer care team can also connect you with a support group for cancer patients, where you can both voice your concerns and support others who are facing the same struggles as you. They can also answer questions about issues that you’re uncertain or anxious about. Additionally, your doctor may determine that anti-anxiety medication is necessary.

Medical Bills Causing Stress and Anxiety?

If financial worries are contributing to your anxiety, Fifth Season’s Funds for Living Program may be able to assist you. The Funds For Living Program helps individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, such as late-stage cancer, to leverage their life insurance policies into money they can use for cancer treatment, therapy, or any other costs. Ownership of the policy is maintained, while also preserving funds for their beneficiaries to receive in the future. To learn more about the program, contact us today.

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