Stress and Cancer

How does stress affect your health including cancer? For me, it’s not so much about stress affecting your health in negative ways, but you ability to cope and handle stress. In life, we all face different stressors, some acute stressors that pass fairly quickly but also some of us face chronic stress and have a hard time coping with that stress. So what can we do to manage our stress and help to keep out bodies strong and resilient?

I am a clinical social worker and saw people in private practice for 2 1/2 years. While it wasn’t what I wanted to do for a career, I believe that having someone to talk to that is unbiased, can help you sort things out and help you to find ways to manage your stress. I believe that it is the management of stress that is important when it comes to keeping ourselves healthy. It seems like there are different thoughts about how stress affects our cancer risk, stress can impact our immune system placing us at risk for other health issues. Personally, I believe that stress is a big component to many health issues, or I should clarify with our ability to cope with stress in healthy ways is a big component in health issues.

How do you cope with stress? For me, I have different coping skills, some I use more than others and some I need to use more often. I will try to go into more detail in other posts, but for now, I will just mention the things that I believe are good coping skills for stress management. While I believe therapy can be hugely helpful, usually it is not daily, and you need to find ways to cope when you don’t have the therapist to talk to. I love to be creative and that is probably what I find most helpful. I also love to meditate and should do it more often, especially when I’m not stressed. Breathing is something I think is a great simple and basic way to cope with anxiety that comes with stress and something that can be helpful in the moment. I believe journaling can be a huge help, not just for the stressors in life, but also to remind yourself of the good things in life. Exercise can be a huge help, especially if you find that you have trouble sitting still. Exercise can be helpful in releasing energy as well as improving your immune system. I’m hoping to spend more time on each of these coping skills and maybe others like food, yoga, natural remedies, gardening, and time with family and friends.

How do you manage your stress? Do you manage your stress or is it an area you need to work on?



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