The prognosis of cancer in remission doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the mental anguish and physical pain of breast cancer. Pain and the emotional impact of cancer can last long after an individual has been given the all clear. Today, researchers have revealed that mindfulness can help relieve mental health symptoms and improve the recovery rate and confidence of survivors.
Mindfulness meditation is the art of paying attention to the present moment, without passing judgement or thinking about past events or future prospects. It has been shown to reduce the chronic inflammation that occurs throughout the body as a result of stress, subsequently enhancing the immune system and improving quality of life.
Psychologists compared an mindfulness course to an 8-week nutrition course. The researchers reported that the women randomly assigned to complete the Mindfulness based Stress Reduction course showed significant improvements in their feelings of depression, paranoid ideation, hostility, anxiety, unhappiness and all of the women reported having greater emotional control as a result of practicing mindfulness. It should be noted that the women who continued to benefit from the mindfulness training were those that held lower expectations of the training in its initial stages.
Yoga and Mindfulness have also been collectively shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and general distress as well as improve sleep and post-chemotherapy nausea. This research indicates that mindfulness could be used both during and after the treatment of breast cancer.