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Three Ways to Achieve A State of Gratitude

May 25th, 2014 |
Emotional Support

by sedonawoman | Survivor: Colon and Rectal Cancer    Connect


Are you wondering how to tap into a state of gratitude during your cancer journey? In this guest blog post, a certified life coach and five year colon cancer survivor offers her top 3 tips.

The definition of "Gratitude," at its simplest, is "thankfulness." The root of the word is "grat," which refers to something given, something that is free, or gratis.

Cancer can increase your awareness of what you chose to appreciate and value in life. According to Dr. Wayne Dyer, we become the products of what we think about and how we feel about those thoughts.

Based on his ideas on how to achieve this enlightenment, I have developed three ways to achieve a state of gratitude:

1. Find reasons to celebrate, even during suffering.

As cancer patients, we undergo both numerous and sometimes difficult treatments, as well as procedures with no guarantee of the results. We are hopeful with our expectations to have the best possible outcomes occur throughout our cancer journey. While experiencing these challenges, we learn early on to rely on ourselves to be as strong and as capable as we can be in each moment. Through our struggles and triumphs we 'sharpen' our feelings of thankfulness for achieving a 'clean' scan, a good lab report, or a positive prognosis check up. Essentially, one becomes grateful for what went well during our active oncology care.

Each and every success we encounter, of any level of significance, is met with an internal cheer of good fortune.Each forward step toward our recovery and health is a sign of encouragement for which to celebrate.

2. Be present in the moment.

Being in a state of gratitude is giving oneself a gift that is free. After having endured cancer and its associated treatment regimen, this can foster a sense of amplified appreciation. Since your perceptions have changed, you now value what you have so much more because you have suffered. This appreciation is now felt much deeper in the present moment.

3. Be more aware.

Whatever may be before your eyes, you may now begin to see with much greater clarity than you had before. You now view things more clearly and are better able to feel more fully in the present moment. You have gained a new heightened level of awareness and have increased your own personal level of gratitude quotient, or GQ. This is how cancer cultivates one's gratitude.

From this newfound inspiration, you have gained a full and vibrant understanding of what you now feel. For your life, you have determined what is now of the most importance. Thus, the best free 'gift' from cancer is the ability to sustain an attitude of gratitude that is forever lasting.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more." — Melody Beattie


How did cancer give you a new perspective on life? Share your experience in the comments below.


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Helen H. Cohen, MA, CEG, is a certified professional life coach, as well as a Stage III Colon Cancer survivor who recently celebrated her seven year cancer-free mark. Her intention as a cancer survivorship life coach is to inspire other cancer survivors and their significant others who wish to move forward with their 'new' lives post cancer treatment. It is her belief that this transitional phase provides a great opportunity to reinvent, renew focus, reevaluate one's life's purpose and forge a new direction. From her own personal cancer journey, she has a changed perspective and a different outlook. To read more about her, please click here or to connect with her on IHadCancer under the name, sedonawoman.

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