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5 Things People Who Once Had Cancer Want to Tell You

5 Things People Who Once Had Cancer Want to Tell You

Hearing you have cancer is life-changing and overwhelming in many ways. It is true that some cancer diagnoses do not have a cure, but that is not the case for all. Many cancer patients have come back from their fight in full remission, with a new, hope-filled outlook on life. Here are a few ways that cancer survivors’ perspective on their lives changed after they went through their own illnesses.

1. We know not to get caught up in statistics

It can be easy to spend hours on Google searching your particular cancer and coming across articles and testimonials that will leave you with little hope. It is important when you are diagnosed to avoid the black hole of the Internet, and instead discuss concerns and reliable resources with your primary doctor. Every cancer patient is different and their body reacts to the illness in a way that is unique to their physiological make-up. Having cancer provides enough stress as it is, and it is important to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

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2. We know to be our own advocate

If something does not feel right with your treatment plan, it is important to be proactive and get a second opinion from another medical professional. Doctors will always differ in what they believe in is the right process to fight cancer and so getting a second and even a third opinion is crucial to your overall recovery. Of equal importance, listen to your gut when you think that something feels right, because it usually is.

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3. We know that it is best to take it one day at a time

Having a cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming life event that will make you want to think about the bigger picture and focus on the future. It is important instead to focus on each day as it comes and remain in the present. This will help you relieve a lot of stress and also make you feel that you are better equipped to tackle the day-to-day problems that are bound to arise.

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4. We know that you do not have to face cancer by yourself

Dealing with cancer is a scary thing, but what makes it easier is finding a support group where members can relate to exactly what you are going through. You can find these groups at your local hospital or clinic, community college or adult learning center, or through your primary doctor. Making the effort to connect with others who are experiencing a similar illness is important, because not only does being social boost your mental state, it can give you the positive encouragement to recover. If one-on-one therapy is more your cup of tea, seek out a mental health professional in your area that can help you through some of the complex emotions that are associated with cancer.

5. We know that taking care of your body and mind is of the utmost importance

There will be some days where you just feel like lying on the couch and eating comfort foods. This is perfectly fine to do, but it is also important to continue to nourish your body with the proper nutrients and eat a balanced diet. It is also important to remain as active as possible, even if it is just a 20-minute walk around the block. Taking care of your mind is also just as important as well, whether it is doing restorative yoga or taking a few minutes to meditate. Just because your body is sick does not mean it cannot heal and it is important to do everything in your power to help it do so.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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