You may be aware of the “manifestation” movement – trying to will things to happen through concentration. This idea often crops up in spaces where people are met with considerable health challenges. Like so many things, it can be difficult to work out in practice, juggling the uncertainty of life with the power our thoughts may have.
Regardless of how positive thinking may or may not affect outcomes, there’s a good chance that having hope feels better than despairing. And if feelings make up a lot of our experience, maybe being hopeful has value in and of itself.
But, how does a person have hope when the future looks bleak? In a word — Compassion. Interestingly, many of us forget that we can give OURSELVES compassion!
There is burgeoning, though compelling, scientific research that suggests that learning to cultivate compassion in your life through meditation and other mental/emotional exercises can improve your mental health, specifically for cancer survivors.
Moving through any (and all) stages of cancer can affect the way you see yourself, so it’s important to do things that emphasize your inherent value and dignity in spite of battling cancer.
While hope may not be able to take away cancer, hope brings us back to who we really are, meeting us with compassion so that we can be more present, and in turn, more freely and fully alive no matter our circumstances.
If you or a loved one is interested in participating in this research, you can join the Breast Cancer Support Project, designed to relieve your stress at no cost to the participants.
If you know someone impacted by breast cancer, send them a little hope with a For the Girls pink wind chime – 50% of all profits are always donated to breast cancer research and treatment.
Cognitively Based Compassion Training May Help Ease Stress