A spirit of appreciation can go a long way toward helping your mental and emotional health, particularly during a cancer journey. When you embrace gratitude, you can gain a sense of meaning and purpose, even as you navigate uncertainty.
The challenge is to find ways to practice gratitude as you cope with many emotions that are a natural part of facing cancer. You can feel apprehensive about chemotherapy, yet have a sense of gratitude that you have a treatment option to pursue. Or fatigue caused by radiation may frustrate you as you feel grateful for power naps.
Your way of embracing gratitude is different from everyone else’s. You may prefer to think about your family’s support as you sip coffee each morning. Or you may find meaning in writing in a journal at bedtime each night.
Here are ways to put gratitude into practice as you go through your healthcare challenges.
- Dedicate time to focus on people, places and things that you appreciate
- Keep a gratitude journal with daily or weekly gratitude lists to uplift your mood and strengthen your resolve
- Write gratitude letters to loved ones that express your appreciation for their support
- Reflect on your blessings and what they mean to you each day
The key to gratitude reflection is to give yourself permission to embrace thankfulness.
Kim Mathews, MS, LMHC, CT, provides mind-body counseling support to cancer patients, their family members and caregivers at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. She offers coping strategies like these to help patients improve quality of life and manage cancer-related issues, such as stress, anxiety and sleep difficulties.