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Stay positive, it can save your life!

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stay positive, it can save your life!

 I have always felt that it is important to have a positive outlook on life and your situation, as it can help you to pull through the tough times, and using humor and positivity can get you really far in life, especially during times of illness and stress.  It will lighten the mood with family and friends who don't know how to react or what to say, and it helps everyone feel more comfortable.

There was a recent study looking at women undergoing cancer treatments, their outlooks on life, and their outcomes.  Mainly they were dealing with women, of varying ages, with breast cancer, all throughout their courses of treatment.  It was found that patients with low hope, high psychological stress levels, and poor health status was related to lower satisfaction with life.  Even in patients who ended up having better outcomes, their perception of low hope and high stress, was detrimental to their life satisfaction after treatment.  Really it means that people who act like Debbie Downers, and react that way during their entire treatment course, tend to feel that way about their entire life, even after they are cancer free!

On the other hand, they found that people who noted themselves as having moderate to high stress, but high levels of hope, tended to think that their health status was higher than it may have been, and they had better experiences during their treatments, and more positive satisfaction with their lives.  Basically, hope is an important factor for all oncology patients and is so important because it effects their quality of life in a positive way.  

I know that it isn't easy sometimes to be super positive with people that you know have cancer, and it is even harder if they are really negative (and trust me, I understand that it is hard to be happy about cancer!!) but it is so important to be positive and help others be positive about their lives and their health.  Positivity really can have a long lasting impact on peoples lives and make their treatment and recovery so much better for them, and for you.  What many people forget is that illnesses don't just effect one person, it touches their friends and families and  has a huge impact on them as well.  I am not telling you all to be unrealistic with family members, but talk about happy memories, go on small adventures, visit new places (on small day trips), cook their favorite meal, make the most of the time when your family member/friend feels well, and make new happy memories that they can think about during the tough times; it will make the tough times easier, and the good times so much more precious.

Not only is making lemonade out of lemons fun, but it can have an amazing effect on peoples recovery.  I know that there are totally appropriate times to cry and be sad, but it isn't OK to let people stay like that.  Let's get happy....it's contagious!!

Yours in Good Health
B

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