July 23rd, 2018
| Supporter: All Cancers
Feeling Stressed is Stressful!
Everyone Experiences Stress From Time To Time.
Stress means different things to different people, but in general, stress refers to an emotional response to situations we feel we cannot cope with. Basically this means being under pressure and feeling REALLY overwhelmed! Untreated chronic stress (stress that lasts for a long time) can lead to anxiety, muscle pain, digestive problems, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, overeating, depression and more.
Most People Don’t Like Feeling Stressed, However, Stress Is Not Always Bad!
Stress warns you that something difficult is happening or about to happen, and can motivate you to take action and improve your situation. Have you ever considered that small amounts of stress during exam time helped motivate you to get through long study periods or that stress associated with medical tests motivated you to get them done? Let’s face it though, most of the time stress is unpleasant and can get in the way of enjoying life.
Receiving A Cancer Diagnosis Is Likely The Most Stressful Event You Have Experienced.
The feeling of having little or no control over cancer is one of the reasons it is so stressful. We also know that other events associated with cancer, such as changes to appearance, anxiety about treatment, fear of cancer returning, juggling study or work and losing touch with friends, are all likely to increase stress in young people. Whilst you are not able to control cancer, and you can’t stop difficult thoughts and feelings associated with cancer, it is possible to learn ways to respond differently to your experiences, which in turn can help reduce stress.
1. Use Problem-Solving.
If you are having trouble making a decision, or there is a possibility that the situation causing stress (or part of the situation) can be changed, problem solving can be very helpful.
2. Talk to other people in the same situation as you.
YouCan Connect is a free online platform where young people in Australia who are dealing with cancer can connect and chat online.
3. Looking after your Health whilst having treatment for cancer can be VERY difficult.
Nausea, vomiting, fatigue and food cravings all get in the way of maintaining a healthy diet, regular sleep and fitness. The research shows however, that consuming a diet high in protein and energy, getting adequate sleep and maintaining some level of fitness both during and after cancer treatment can reduce stress.
4. Recognise ‘stress’ thoughts; those that induce stress.
Common ‘stress’ thoughts amongst young people with cancer, such as ‘what if my cancer comes back’, ‘what if I can’t get through treatment’, ‘what if treatment fails’, can all contribute to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. There are a few strategies that may be helpful when faced with ‘stress’ thoughts;
5. Stay Present.
Often when we feel stressed, we are focussed only on future events (e.g., coping with cancer treatment). By increasing your awareness of what is going on inside (e.g., thoughts, feelings) and outside (e.g., sight, sounds) you in the present, we can better tune in to things that are more important or enjoyable. So aim to notice your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and environment in the present moment.
to continue the conversation.
Want to blog with us ?
We’re the people working behind the scenes to make You Can Connect the best it can be for you. We thought we’d make our own profile to introduce ourselves in case you haven’t heard of You Can. Back in 2010, Sony Foundation Australia launched You Can to address a gap in the medical system to support adolescent and young adults with cancer in Australia. We raise funds and build You Can youth cancer centres across the country to provide a space in hospitals that is just for young people to ensure care and support is tailored towards YOU, not children, and not old people, YOU. Feel free to drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.