Mindfulness practices encourage individuals to experience the present moment in a non-judgemental way, to counter the effects of stressors relating to the cancer diagnosis.
Research shows that stress management programs may reduce anxiety and improve mood, quality of life, alleviate sleep problems and provide some pain relief.
Here are three simple ways to practice mindfulness each day:
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, take 2-3 minutes to focus on your breathing and the interaction it has with your body.
Mindful breathing can help you to regulate your emotions, and stay in the present.
Mindful walking is a great way to clear your mind. You can spend as little as 2-5 minutes walking around your house or even in your backyard.
While you’re walking, pause and notice something you’re experiencing with each of your five senses.
- Look around and notice five things you can see.
- Bring awareness to four things you’re currently feeling.
- Listen and note three things you can hear in the background.
- Take a moment to become aware of two things you can smell.
- Focus on one thing you can taste right now.
Eating mindfully can help us eat less, with more satisfaction.
Before your next meal, try to remove all distractions and spend at least 15 seconds just looking at your food, smelling it and imagining what it will taste like before eating it.
How do we help cancer patients and carers incorporate mindfulness into their life?
Our Life Now Program is a community-funded support service that offers free, evidence-based, mind body courses for cancer patients and their carers, sharing mindfulness based practices that participants can apply to daily life.
The program provides introductory courses in yoga, tai chi, meditation and mindfulness, which can help participants manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as reduce repetitive negative thinking and cancer related stress.
Our Life Now Online Mindfulness course is fully booked for Term 4 but you can still join our Life Now Online Yoga course on Wednesday 21 October 2020.