Stress & Thinking

Stress & Thinking

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Fighting cancer can be difficult on your mind as well as your body. Stress and anxiety about the disease and treatment can affect all aspects of your wellbeing and compound other symptoms. Some patients experience trouble with thinking, concentrating and remembering things.


Relax your body and mind:

  • Deep breathing and relaxation exercises
  • Guided imagery - imagining yourself in a pleasant, calm place
  • Meditation or clearing your mind
  • Quiet activities you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music
  • Gentle massage
  • Gentle exercise like yoga

Reduce stress:

  • Distract yourself by playing games or talking with friends
  • Try not to do too much
  • Ask for help
  • Take time off work or work fewer hours if possible
  • Focus on positive things and things you can control
  • Avoid or change situations that cause you stress

Thoughts, behaviors, attitudes

Help to think more clearly:

  • Take regular breaks for activities you enjoy, such as walking outdoors, gardening, enjoying nature, reading or listening to music.
  • Talk about your concerns and seek support of family and friends.
  • Use lists and calendars to help you keep organized.
  • Exercise your mind with puzzles like crosswords or sudoku.
  • Reduce stress with relaxation, exercise, yoga, meditation or music.
  • Take notes or bring someone with you to appointments to help you remember important information.

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How we can help

The Canadian Cancer Society has numerous resources that you can lean on when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. See how they are available to help.