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control. Stubbornness is also strongly linked with determination and tenacity, which are essential.

FAITH, LOVE AND THE MIND In my experience with the patients I see at my clinic, wellbeing and outcomes seem to be improved in those who have, or who learn to develop, certain mental characteristics or habits. These are: • Stubbornness • Acting, as far as possible, as if you don’t have cancer • Setting strong and exciting goals and getting started on them • Looking at a cancer diagnosis as a wake-up call and a strong message that you need to restore balance by changing behaviours or traits • Researching and reading books and online articles, so as to stay informed • Avoiding negative people and surrounding yourself with positive supporters • Prioritising activities such as yoga, meditation, holidays, time with grandchildren, prayer, music…activities that allow you to connect on a spiritual level with yourself and others Going through these individually Stubbornness: though not seen as desirable in many quarters these days, in my experience stubbornness is an outstandingly important quality to have if you have cancer. Those who are often classed as ‘difficult’ patients ask lots of questions, because they want to be informed. Being informed is vital, as it enables you to make more effective decisions, to become empowered and to feel in

Acting, as far as possible, as if you don’t have cancer is important, as it allows you to get on with things in life that you enjoy doing. So at the very least, when doing these enjoyable things, you can have fun, and, for this time, avoid negative thinking about cancer. So, as far as possible, people with cancer should continue with the enjoyable activities that they were doing before diagnosis. Setting strong, and exciting goals is important as - like acting as if you are well - it gets you busy with things that you enjoy; and taking up new activities that also will give you joy. This joy can be ‘infectious’ and can spread to others who you do the activity with. For example, I encouraged one client who came to me to help increase his wellbeing and immune system, to do a half marathon run in Brighton with a large placard on his back saying that he had stage IV lung cancer. As you can imagine, on the day, he inspired the crowds of spectators as well as the other runners, and his story featured in the local paper. He also got a huge buzz from all the cheers and well-wishers encouraging him. So it was clearly a win-win situation for everyone. Also, tackling goals can help to boost the immune system, as engaging in this way releases endorphins into the body. Remember, age is no barrier to setting and achieving goals. There are marathon runners who are in their 90s, and one who is over 100 years old, who regularly runs marathons. Looking at your diagnosis as a wake-up call can be crucial, as people will often find that there is a behaviour, or stored up emotion, or trait, that they need to change. This behaviour or trait, if left unchanged, could lead to chronic stress, which will, in turn, lower the immune system. Often people are in the habit of not allowing any time for themselves, or they may be very unassertive, constantly aiming to please others, to the detriment of their own mental wellbeing. Changing such behaviours can lead to great emotional release for some, and can result in feeling that they are now in control of their life. Research and reading are always a good idea for people with cancer to inform themselves and thus become more empowered. It is also a way

Health Triangle Magazine issue 49  
Health Triangle Magazine issue 49  

Health Focus in this month is all about travel

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