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Fear of Cancer Recurrence - 5 ways to lessen your anxiety

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In this webinar:
Oncologist Rob Rutledge provides practical advice and healing skills for people who are anxious about their cancer recurring. Rob draws on 25 years of clinical practice, over 50 skills for healing retreats, and the neuroscience of mind-body medicine to explain that anxiety is normal and expected, and what to do when it becomes overwhelming.

The webinar was followed by a question & answer session.

View the video:
https://youtu.be/f6vJdKM3qLk

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Fear of Cancer Recurrence - 5 ways to lessen your anxiety

  1. 1. Fear of Cancer Recurrence – Five Ways to Lessen Your Anxiety Dr. Rob Rutledge, Oncologist Associate Professor, Dalhousie University HealingandCancer.org
  2. 2. HealingandCancer.org Take Home Points ● Anxiety is normal and can be harnessed to empower you ● You can lessen your anxiety to improve your health and happiness ● Looking at fear directly can unleash your life force energy
  3. 3. HealingandCancer.org Webcast Content ● Power of Acceptance ● Working with your human brain ● Setting your intention ● Creating the conditions for calm ● What to do when anxiety flares ● Reframing anxiety as helpful ● Looking at fear directly ● The transcendent perspective
  4. 4. HealingandCancer.org Listening to this presentation can be very helpful
  5. 5. HealingandCancer.org The Power of Acceptance
  6. 6. HealingandCancer.org Setting Your Intention
  7. 7. HealingandCancer.org Your Human Brain ● It’s normal to feel anxious ● We all have triggers ● Anxiety can motivate you to empower yourself ● Choose to live more often out of the wise and compassionate part of your brain
  8. 8. HealingandCancer.org Creating the Conditions for Calm
  9. 9. HealingandCancer.org Creating the Conditions for Calm ● Exercise ● Diet! – Low glycemic (protein with meals) – Brain food – omega 3, healthy fats ● Sleep / nap ● Practice Relaxation / Meditation ● Touch is healing! ● Do the things that nourish your soul – Getting into nature
  10. 10. HealingandCancer.org Creating the Conditions for Calm ● AVOID: ● Television news – Unnecessary upsetting activities ● Too much social media ● Alcohol / smoking ● Avoidance (do the thing that scares you)
  11. 11. HealingandCancer.org What to do when anxiety flares ● Have a plan ● Mindfulness of sensations and thoughts ● If you can’t talk yourself down: ● 1 - Breathing technique ● 2 - Pretend you’re relaxed (chew and slump) ● Remember what it’s like when you feel good ● Talk to someone who will listen
  12. 12. HealingandCancer.org What to do when anxiety flares ● Press the ‘pause’ button ● Be very curious about the physical sensations ● Four slow breaths into the abdomen ● Reassure yourself with wisdom and kindness
  13. 13. Feeling Better by Examining and Changing Your Thoughts With Mindfulness Awareness & Kindness (based on David Byrne’s Feeling Good)
  14. 14. You can change your mind • You can change the way you think and look at things • You can change your underlying beliefs and thought patterns • These will change how you see your self, your life, others, the world • This will change how you feel, emotions, moods, outlook, attitude and productivity
  15. 15. STEP 1 Mindful of Distressing Thoughts STEP 2 Awareness and Inquiry STEP 3 Kind & Rational Response -Acknowledge the difficulty with kindness -Look at the situation from another perspective -Encourage yourself: “I can.. Situation:
  16. 16. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts Awareness and Inquiry Kind & Rational Response Situation: Thinking about upcoming medical visit
  17. 17. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts I can’t handle this! This is too much. This is never going to work out. My life is totally out of control. Awareness and Inquiry Kind & Rational Response Situation: Thinking about upcoming medical visit
  18. 18. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts I can’t handle this! This is too much. This is never going to work out. My life is totally out of control. Awareness and Inquiry 1. What emotions follow from this way of thinking? 2. How does my body feel? 3. Is this a helpful or harmful thought? 4. Exaggerated, irrational? Kind & Rational Response Situation: Thinking about upcoming medical visit
  19. 19. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts I can’t handle this! This is too much. This is never going to work out. My life is totally out of control. Awareness and Inquiry 1. What emotions follow from this way of thinking? 2. How does my body feel? 3. Is this a helpful or harmful thought? 4. Exaggerated, irrational? Kind & Rational Response Ahh. This is tough. There’s no use getting worked up. I can take this one step at a time. I can find the good in each moment. Situation: Thinking about upcoming medical visit
  20. 20. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts Awareness and Inquiry Kind &Rational Response Situation: Hearing someone relapsed
  21. 21. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts If that person’s cancer came back it’s going to happen to me too. Awareness and Inquiry 1. What emotions follow from this way of thinking? 2. How does my body feel? 3. Is this a helpful or harmful thought? 4. Exaggerated, irrational? Kind &Rational Response Situation: Hearing someone relapsed
  22. 22. Mindful of Distressing Thoughts If that person’s cancer came back it’s going to happen to me too. Awareness and Inquiry 1. What emotions follow from this way of thinking? 2. How does my body feel? 3. Is this a helpful or harmful thought? 4. Exaggerated, irrational? Kind &Rational Response It is scary but I don’t know what will happen in future. Worrying is not going to help. I can choose to live my life in the best possible way now. Situation: Hearing someone relapsed
  23. 23. Mindful of Automatic Thoughts They say you are supposed to stay positive but I feel awful, angry, helpless, filled with despair, I’m afraid I am making it worse Awareness and Inquiry Kind &Rational Response
  24. 24. Mindful of Automatic Thoughts They say you are supposed to stay positive but I feel awful, angry, helpless, filled with despair, I’m afraid I am making it worse Awareness and Inquiry 1. What emotions follow from this way of thinking? 2. How does my body feel? 3. Is this a helpful or harmful thought? 4. Exaggerated, irrational? Kind &Rational Response
  25. 25. Mindful of Automatic Thoughts They say you are supposed to stay positive but I feel awful, angry, helpless, filled with despair, I’m afraid I am making it worse Awareness and Inquiry 1. What emotions follow from this way of thinking? 2. How does my body feel? 3. Is this a helpful or harmful thought? 4. Exaggerated, irrational? Kind &Rational Response It’s natural to have strong and negative feelings. I am learning to comfort myself and ask for reassurance from others. I can work with my state of mind and that helps.
  26. 26. HealingandCancer.org Embracing and Transcending fear
  27. 27. Canadian Cancer Survivor Network Contact Info 1750 Courtwood Crescent, Suite 210 Ottawa, ON K2C 2B5 Telephone / Téléphone : 613-898-1871 E-mail: jmanthorne@survivornet.ca or info@survivornet.ca Website: www.survivornet.ca Twitter: @survivornetca Facebook: www.facebook.com/CanadianSurvivorNet Instagram: @survivornet_ca Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/survivornetwork/ HEALINGandCANCER.org
  28. 28. HealingandCancer.org Blessings to you all! Dr. Rob Rutledge, Oncologist Associate Professor of Medicine HealingandCancer.org

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