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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 January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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